Kavalenka’s relatives try to do everything possible to save his life
On 27 February the family of Siarhei Kavalenka
informed the Special Rapporteur of the UN Human Rights Council about the
situation of the political prisoner who continues a hunger strike of protest
after receiving a prison sentence on 24 February. The document was prepared
with the help of Vitebsk
human rights defenders.
As the wife of political prisoner Alena Kavalenko said, the Human Rights Council promptly accepted the communication, taking into account the peculiarities of the situation, and informed the competent state organs of the Republic of Belarus about it.
In fact, Siarhei Kavalenka declared a hunger strike in mid-December last year, and held a dry hunger-strike for some time in February. During this time he lost over 30 kilos of weight.
On 24 February activist of the Conservative-Christian Party “Belarusian Popular Front” Siarhei Kavalenka was found guilty of violating the regime of the personal restraint (to which he had been sentenced for hanging out a national white-red-white flag on the main New Year Tree of Vitsebsk) and sentenced him to 2 years and 1 month of imprisonment.
On 6 March Alena Kavalenka met with his husband at the National prison hospital in Valadarski Street in Minsk. She tried to persuade him to stop the hunger-strike, but he didn’t agree. His present weight is 55 kilos. He feels unwell and has severe ache in his right kidney and spleen. He has to sleep in warm clothes, because his body is no longer able to keep up the warmth at night.
"The only condition for ending the hunger strike is a complete acquittal on all charges ", said Alena Kavalenka.
Siarhei passed greetings to his friends and called on opposition activists feel free to take part in the Freedom Day action on 25 March.
On 5 March Siarhei’s mother, brother and son had a meeting with him. The mother told journalists that he was very thin and weak and needed an urgent high-quality medical assistance. On 6 March the mother had an audience with the head of the prison, asking to let her son meet with a priest. However, the permission of the Vitsebsk court is necessary for it.