Mikola Statkievich went on hunger-strike of protest
The trial over the chair of the Belarusian Social Democratic Party (Narodnaia Hramada), the European Coalition coordinator Mikola Statkievich, and a Young Front leader Paval Sieviaryniets. They are accused of organizing demonstrations on 18 and 19 October last year against the falsified results of the referendum and elections. Mikola Statkievich is taken to court guarded, because Leanid Iasinovich, Judge of Tsentralny Borough Court, arrested him to ten days for disrespect for court. Mikola Statkievich went on hunger-strike to protest against the degrading conditions of custody.
The politician believes that the police and special detention center officers specially created unbearable conditions. After the verdict was passed, he had to spend a lot of time in the cell at a police station, then was driven around Minsk in a prison van. Only at night Mikola Statkievich finally arrived at the special detention center in Akrestsina Street:
"The cell houses five people. They have all been to prison several times, but they are calm. Among them is a person ill with dysentery. My experience as an officer who took soldiers from the north to a desert for exercises is enough to know what kind of a sickness it is. He is not taken to hospital, and he is feeling very bad. He has all the symptoms of dehydratation. He just lies still. I get an impression that the sick man is used as a bacteriological weapon against me, as a means of pressurizing me, making me change my behavior under the threat of infection. In fact, I only have one method of stopping this degrading treatment of the man - by going on hunger-strike", said Mikola Statkievich to Radio Liberty.
A Young Front leader Paval Sieviaryniets thinks that the evidence given in court will not affect the verdict the court will pass.
The UCP leader Anatol Liabiedzka, who was detained by riot police on 19 October, appeared in court as a witness.
"The procurator's office brings charges that did not exist at all. As far as I know, the case does not have a single appeal from the people who live on Skaryna Avenue, Engels Street about something that interferes with their lives. Second, blocking the street sounds absurd. Every day I find myself in a situation where I cannot access Skaryna Avenue just because Aliaxandr Lukashenka is leaving his residence at the time. But the procurator's office does not bring any action because the traffic was blocked for 5-10 minutes", says Liabiedzka.
On 26 May the court will watch videomaterials prepared by the police and special service.