Dzmitry Harachnka: “Zeltser’s leg swollen, and he has lost much weight”

2009 2009-06-19T17:48:38+0300 1970-01-01T03:00:00+0300 en The Human Rights Center “Viasna” The Human Rights Center “Viasna”
The Human Rights Center “Viasna”

The lawyer of the US citizen Emanuel Zeltser has visited his client in the colony.

Emanuel Zeltser continues the hunger strike for 9th day, Radio Svaboda informs. He protests against actions of the Belarusian authorities that refuse to give the prisoner documents necessary for amnesty.

“The official document hasn’t been received in the colony, the hunger strike continues,” Dzmitry Harachka says. “His state of health has deteriorated, considering that he cannot take some medicines now. His leg is swollen and aching. How does he look like? He is very thin. He has become thin since the moment of arrest, and reduced during the hunger strike. He is very thin”.

As said by the lawyer, he hasn’t received answers to his appeals to the Supreme Court and the Prosecutor’s office of Belarus.

Emanuel Zeltser and his secretary Vladlena Funk were detained in Minsk on March 12, 2008. On August 11, the Minsk City Court sentenced Emanuel Zeltser to three years of imprisonment for the use of fake documents and attempted commercial espionage. His secretary Vladlena Funk (Bruskova) was sentenced to one year of imprisonment.

All trials were held behind closed doors.

The US citizen was also changed with smuggling illicit drugs. However the court acquitted him, saying Zeltser had been taking those medicines for the last 15 years.

The Unites States many times demanded to release Emanuel Zeltser on humanitarian grounds immediately as his health has seriously deteriorated in prison.

On June 8 Emanuel Zeltser who is serving the term in Mahilyou colony #15, announced a hunger strike connected to his illegal imprisonment in Belarusian prison.

Minsk city court still hasn’t sent an official document to Mahilyou colony that neither state institutions nor Belarusian citizens have any claims against Emanuel Zeltser. Because of this document’s absence the procedure of amnesty is stopped for the US citizen, who was sentenced to 3 years of imprisonment on commercial espionage and use of forged documents charges last year.