Hunger strike of US citizen Emanuel Zeltser in Mahilyou colony lasts one week

2009 2009-06-16T17:42:55+0300 1970-01-01T03:00:00+0300 en The Human Rights Center “Viasna” The Human Rights Center “Viasna”
The Human Rights Center “Viasna”

The US citizen Emanuel Zeltser continues his hunger strike in the medical unit of the correctional colony of Mahilyou, a lawyer Dzmitry Harachka, who visited the colony on June 15.

The hunger strike lasts since June 8. In this way the American lawyer tries to attract attention to the fact that issuing a special document to him is dragged out. Without the document the administration of the colony cannot consider including him in the amnesty, BelaPAN informs.

On June 11 Harachka sent complaints to the Supreme Court and the office of Prosecutor General against actions of Minsk city court. There is no response to the complaint so far, the lawyer informs.

As said by him, Mr Zeltser fell into the category of those offered an amnesty singed by the president of Belarus on May 5. According to the Article 22 of that law, an organisation has a right to request documents before considering a possibility to apply amnesty. And the requested documents should be offered immediately. However, Mahilyou colony #15 where Zeltser is kept, cannot receive a document from Minsk city court for three weeks.

Last week the prisoner was visited by a representative of the US Embassy in Belarus. The US still demand immediate release of their citizen on humanitarian grounds, the diplomatic mission informs.

On August 11, 2008 Minks city court sentenced Zeltser to three years of imprisonment. The American lawyer was found guilty of use of forged documents and attempted commercial espionage. The court was held behind the closed doors. From the moment of arrival to the Mahilyou colony, Zeltser was in the medical unit because of his poor health condition.