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Marfa Rabkova not getting urgent medical aid in jail Updated

2022 2022-04-01T17:03:45+0300 2022-04-05T10:43:15+0300 en The Human Rights Center “Viasna” The Human Rights Center “Viasna”
The Human Rights Center “Viasna”

The health of political prisoner and human rights activist Marfa Rabkova is seriously deteriorating; she needs urgent examination but is not receiving adequate medical care in jail.

Marfa Rabkova after her expulsion from Pedagogical University in Minsk, 2016.  Credit: Maksim Sarychau

Marfa Rabkova experience health problems during her imprisonment in pre-trial detention center. She went faint at least twice (in June and July 2021). In August and December 2021, she got COVID-19, and also had symptoms of the disease in early 2022. In pre-trial detention center No. 1, prisoners are not tested for coronavirus, and doctors at the detention center diagnose them based on symptoms, but Viasna knows that all of Marfa's cellmates were infected so the entire cell was isolated.

In addition to this, Marfa suffers from constant abdominal pain and inflamed lymph nodes on her neck. Blood tests made by Marfa back in the fall of 2021 showed poor results: low hemoglobin and signs of an inflammatory process. For that reason, the human rights defender demanded an ultrasound examination. Viasna members learned that the ultrasound was not performed until March 2022, and revealed fluid in the small pelvis in the result. This condition requires immediate further examination both by a surgeon and a gynecologist. Surgery may be needed.

In addition, the ultrasound revealed many focal lesions and cysts in Marfa Rabkova's thyroid gland. An additional examination is needed to determine the nature of these lesions.

Also, Marfa Rabkova's teeth continue to decay and crumble. She is not allowed to visit the dentist for about 9 months already.

Political prisoner and human rights defender Marfa Rabkova has been kept in pre-trial prison No. 1 since September 17, 2020. Recently, her detention was extended once again. In December 2021 the criminal case against Rabkova was transferred to the Investigative Committee, and in January 2022 it was sent to the prosecutor's office to be sent to Minsk City Court. However, the trial against Marfa Rabkova has not yet been scheduled.

Marfa Rabkova is the coordinator of the Viasna Volunteer Service. She was detained on September 17, 2020, under just one criminal article, Part. 3 of Article 293 of the Criminal Code (Training or other preparation of persons for participation in mass riots, or financing of this activity). Her preventive measure in the form of detention was extended repeatedly. In November 2021, it became known that Marfa would be tried under 11 articles of the Criminal Code.

UPDATE April 4: Viasna has learned that Marfa started to receive treatment in pre-trial detention center but only in part. She was tested for hormones and started an intravenous antibiotics course. However, no measures are being taken to examine Marfa's thyroid. Her request for a dentist visit is still not granted.


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