Political Prisoners Klimau and Kazulin in Complete Isolation

2007 2007-07-09T14:21:36+0300 1970-01-01T03:00:00+0300 en The Human Rights Center “Viasna” The Human Rights Center “Viasna”
The Human Rights Center “Viasna”

We often learn about the lives of prisoners in the jail already after they have served their terms. Recently we have received the information from former prisoner-mates of Alexander Kazulin, that he had been allegedly beaten by a prison officer. The administration of the Vitsba-3 prison, where the ex-candidate for the presidency is kept for almost a year already, refutes that.


Alexander Kazulin hasn’t written any letters home for a long time. His family think this is very suspicious.


“We haven’t received letters for a month already. We are very worried about that and cannot comment anything now”, -- Kazulin’s daughter Yulia told RFE/RL.


According to Yulia Kazulin, lawyer is going to visit her father next week.


Information vacuum also continues around former MP Andrei Klimau. He is kept in Minsk investigative isolation center for over three months. Klimau is suspected of spreading the calls against the incumbent government. Three weeks ago Klimau was transferred from Minsk prison hospital to the medical ward of the isolation center. Ihar Shynkaryk, Klimau’s colleague in the United Civic Party, says they haven’t received any information from him since.


The former candidate for presidency of the Republic of Belarus Alexander Kazulin was thrown behind bars for organization of protest actions against rigging the presidential election on Freedom day of March 25th, 2006. On July 13th Minsk city court sentenced Kazulin to 5.5 years of imprisonment. In the jail Kazulin went on hunger strike, demanding to consider the issue of Belarus at the session of the UN Security Council. The political prisoner was on hunger strike for 53 days, he lost over 40 kilos and irreversibly damaged his health. The brave politician achieved his goal – a US representative raised the Belarusian issue at the UN Security Council.


The opposition leader, member of the Supreme Soviet of the 13th convocation, Andrei Klimau was arrested on April 3rd, 2007 for the articles he had published in the Internet. The politician was charged under Article 361 part 3 of the Criminal Code “calls to overthrow or change the constitutional system, made with the help of mass media”. Andre Klimau is kept in investigation isolation center #1 in Minsk. Andrei Klimau suffered a heart attack in the jail.


Earlier Klimau, an active opponent of Alexander Lukashenka, spent four years in jail on accusations of economic crimes. Later he was sentenced to 15 months of forced labor (“restriction of freedom”) for organizing street protests on Freedom Day in 2005. Amnesty International recognized Klimau “prisoner of conscience”.