Kazulin Goes on Hunger-Strike
Today, on October 20, the former candidate for the post of the president Alexander Kazulin begins a hungers –strike against illegitimate presidential powers of Alexander Lukashenka, reports RFE/RL.
Alexander Kazulin formulated the goals of his hunger-strike one month ago in a special letter which he managed to get to his family. The politician claims he the March election did not take place. That’s why Alexander Lukashenka should leave the office, and prime-minister Siarhei Sidorski should appoint new election during 30 days.
Two days ago the former candidate had a meeting with his family and confirmed his desire to go on hunger –strike on October 20. He said he had informed the jail administration about that.
The jail administration says they know about Kazulin’s intention. However, they refuse to provide information about facilities in which Kazulin will stay during the hunger-strike. Earlier they claimed they would transfer Kazulin to a separate room, most likely, to the medical center.
What should be the legal reaction of the jail administration to a prisoner’s hunger strike? Kazulin’s lawyer Ihar Rynkevich explains for RFE/RL:
“Refusing from food and making certain demands is not considered a violation of the regime. During 3 day the jail administration should inform the higher instance and the prosecutor, who is supervising jails. The supervising prosecutor should come, listen to the demands and react to them: either to implement them if the demand is legal and he has the authority to implement it or to inform the higher instance”.
Ihar Rynkevich hopes that his client would be transferred to a medical center and doctors would observe the state of Kazulin’s health. The lawyer does not exclude the situation that Kazulin would be forced to stop the hunger-strike.
Rynkevich: “They may use force to hold him and inject glucose directly into the bloodstream. They gave me such a hint when I visited the jail on October 10. They say they would do that to save his life. Moreover that Kazulin claims he will not stop: he will hunger for 30 or 40 days”.
Iryna Kazulina, wife of the politician, says she supports political views of her husband but she is against the hunger-strike. During their last meeting she tried to talk her husband out of the hunger-strike but failed. During their meeting Alexander Kazulin formulated a more clear condition on which he would stop the hunger-strike.
Kazulina: “I see he looks to the international level. He says he would stop the hunger-strike when the UN raises the issue of Belarus”. On October 19 Iryna Kazulina met with a number of leaders of the Belarusian opposition. They discussed the ways to support the political action of her husband.
Alexander Kazulin was sentenced to 5,5 years of imprisonment. He was found guilty of hooliganism and organizing street disorders on March 25. The former candidate to the post of the President does not plead guilty and believes his persecution is politically motivated.