FIDH and Viasna urge Belarusian authorities to promptly render medical aid to Atukhovich
The FIDH and the Human Rights Center ‘Viasna’ have learned about the start of an open-ended hunger-strike by the imprisoned Mikalai Autukhovich after he was refused medical aid by the administration of Minsk’s detention center #1.
As a result of a long (over a year) imprisonment in extremely unfavourable conditions, Mikalai Autukhovich lost nearly all his teeth and thus is deprived of any opportunities of taking regular meals. Despite the prisoner’s numerous appeals to the center’s administration and the Department for the Execution of Sentences of the Interior Ministry, he has been repeatedly denied access to necessary medical aid. Moreover, the center’s administration has been blocking the submission of appeals to the Department for the Execution of Sentences.
On 16 May 2010, the entrepreneur Mikalai Autukhovich was sentenced to 5 years of imprisonment by the Supreme Court of the Republic of Belarus on charges of possessing weapons. Mikalai Autukhovich, together with Uladzimir Asipenka, Mikhail Kazlou and Aliaksandr Laryn, had initially been accused of a number of grave crimes, including plotting of a terrorist act; however, after their cases were considered in an open trial, they were acquitted of the majority of charges.
The case has a wide public response and was closely monitored by the human rights activists. The FIDH and the Human Rights Center ‘Viasna’ believe that the investigation into the case was accompanied by grave violations of procedural guarantees, obviously dealing with political grounds.
The FIDH and the Human Rights Center ‘Viasna’ believe that the Belarusian authorities’ refusal to provide medical aid to the prisoner Mikalai Autukhovich is a manifestation of inhuman and cruel treatment and torture, as well as an outrage against Art. 25 of the Belarusian Constitution and Art. 7 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.
The FIDH and the Human Rights Center ‘Viasna’ urge the Belarusian authorities to promptly put an end to the violation of Mikalai Autukhovich’s rights and provide him with necessary medical aid.
Paris-Minsk, 18 June 2010