Health and Life of Entrepreneur Mikalai Autukhovich Is in Danger! Human Rights Movement Our Belarus Has Started Campaign of Support to Accused, Who Has been On Dry Hunger-strike Since 23 May
According to RFE/RL
On 5 June in Hrodna there took place the court sitting on the criminal case of the businessman Mikalai Autukhovich. The judge Mikalai Rachynski read the conclusion of a prison doctor, according to which Mr Autukhovich couldnt take part in the trial because of the state of his health and would be taken to a hospital instead. Mr Autukhovich wasnt taken to the court. The continuation of the trial was appointed on Thursday, but Autukhovichs lawyer Halina Ivanova still doesnt know whether he will take part in it. According to her, the court has to receive an official paper from the prison in order to know whether to continue the trial or to suspend it.
164 citizens of Autukhovichs native town, Vaukavysk, have sent a letter to him, calling the entrepreneur to stop the hunger-strike. The human rights movement Our Belarus has started a campaign of support to Mikalai Autukhovich. People started to send letters to the judge Mikalai Rachynski, asking to attach them to the case, and letters to the Republican Prosecutors Office. The coordinator of the movement Ihar Lednik is of the opinion that Mikalai Autukhovich is innocent. According to him, workers of Zdanovichy market of building materials and the entrepreneurs who sell radio equipment have already submitted about 120 signatures in support of Mr Autukhovich to the prosecutors office and the signatures are still gathered in different cities of the country.
Mikalai Autukhovich has gone on the hunger-strike on 13 April, when he was again detained. Last week he passed out twice and the medics had to put a dropper in his hand.
Mr Autukhovich is accused of non-payment of taxes which inflicted a large loss to the state budget. He doesnt take the blame and states that he worked openly and put to bank all the money he was receiving from the work of his taxi cars. He is accused of operating without the establishment of a firm. Accordingly, the sum of the taxes is calculated as if he had such a firm. The entrepreneur can be sentenced either to corrective labor or up to 7 years of jail with or without confiscation of property.