Police complete investigation of criminal case against opposition activist Syarhey Kavalenka
The police in Vitsyebsk have completed the investigation of a fresh criminal case against Syarhey Kavalenka, a member of the Conservative Christian Party.
As Pyotr Kavalenka, the defense lawyer for the opposition activist who is unrelated to him, told BelaPAN, he met with his jailed client on January 24.
"We studied the case file. The case will now be sent to the Pershamayski District Prosecutor's Office in Vitsyebsk. The prosecutor has five days to study the case and if he does not grant my request for dropping the case, it will be sent to court," the lawyer said.
According to him, Mr. Kavalenka was on hunger strike for about a month. "They told me that now he takes a small amount of food once a day on medical grounds. He has lost weight but is able to think reasonably, speak coherently, the fast has not affected his mental state," the lawyer said.
In May 2010, Mr. Kavalenka was given a three-year suspended prison sentence after creating a scandal by putting a white-red-white flag on top of Vitsyebsk's tallest Christmas tree in early January 2010.
On December 19, 2011, Mr. Kavalenka was arrested at home on a charge of violating probation rules four times and placed in the detention center in Vitsyebsk. He went on hunger strike in protest against the possible revocation of the suspension of his prison sentence. On January 16, the jail administration began force-feeding him through a tube.
The arrest of Mr. Kavalenka left his family without the breadwinner. His family includes his pregnant wife, two children, seven years and seven months of age, and his elderly mother.