Prisoner attempts to kill self to protest torture

2016 2016-01-12T14:53:38+0300 2016-01-14T18:48:48+0300 en The Human Rights Center “Viasna” The Human Rights Center “Viasna”
The Human Rights Center “Viasna”
Yahor Pratasenia. Photo:

Yahor Pratasenia. Photo:

Yahor Pratasenia, 20, has committed a suicide attempt in the Žodzina jail to protest torture and abuse during the investigation and detention, according to Larysa Zhyhar, representative of the public initiative “Mothers’ Movement 328”.

Yahor Pratasenia was arrested by the General Directorate for Drug Control and Human Trafficking in April 2015. During his detention he was brutally tortured by employees of the Directorate. Since April, he has hatched a plan of suicide, telling his mother in every letter that by his death he was going to punish the employees. The prison censors did not stop these letters, paying no attention to his words. On December 28, Pratasenia was sentenced to 14 years in prison. At the trial, he told his mother not to file an appeal, since he did not want to live. I also wrote to him asking him not to do that. And on January 5 the guy tried to hang himself. Now he is in hospital in Žodzina, in the intensive care unit. I was able to contact a doctor, who told me that his condition is very serious, he is in a coma,” says Ms. Zhyhar.

In her interview for Radio Racyja, Larysa Zhyhar said that the tragic event was a clear answer to what is going on behind the walls of prisons and is hidden from the public:

They tortured him by putting a gas mask on his head and blocking the oxygen. They threw darts at his back. Threatened to give him some brown liquid if he did not say where the drugs were. They said they’d use an electric shocker, beat him, one of the officers took off his pants and urinated on him.”