American lawyers sure US citizen tortured in Belarusian prison

2009 2009-01-16T20:41:24+0200 1970-01-01T03:00:00+0300 en

The Washington DC-based Patton Boggs law firm has addressed the UN Special Rapporteur on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment with a request to investigate the facts of using torture against the American citizen Emmanuil Zeltzer.

The firm claims that by detaining Mr.Zeltzer on 12 March 2008 Belarus violated the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. Belarusian authorities ‘have tortured Mr. Zeltser by subjecting him to substandard prison conditions and physical beatings, forcing him to undergo a psychiatric evaluation, and jeopardizing his health and life by depriving him of vital physician-prescribed medications and failing to attend to his critical medical needs’.

Patton Boggs emphasizes that ‘this intentional infliction of severe pain and suffering on Mr. Zeltser is leading to his mental and physical deterioration and, as substantiated by physician reports, could result in his death if immediate action is not taken’.

‘Dr. Albert Benchabbat reported that Mr. Zeltser is unlikely to survive in current conditions and deprived of his vital medications. He urged that Mr. Zeltser be released so that he could have urgent heart surgery,’ states a special press release by Patton Boggs. ‘We call upon the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Torture to send a strong message to Belarus that these actions are unacceptable and must be amended.’

On August 11, 2008, Mr. Zeltser was convicted of “using false official documents” and “attempted economic espionage” during a closed-door secret show trial.