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Mikalai Autukhovich on hunger-strike behind bars for 40 days

2005 2005-11-22T10:00:00+0200 1970-01-01T03:00:00+0300 en The Human Rights Center “Viasna” The Human Rights Center “Viasna”
The Human Rights Center “Viasna”

The businessman Mikalai Autukhovich said to his lawyer that he would continue to the end. According to the doctors, such a long hunger-strike can cause substantial damage to health. So far there has been no response to the lawyer’s petition to the administration of Hrodna prison, which asked for hospitalization of Mikalai Autukhovich and immediate medical treatment. “I think that the issue of letting independent doctors, community representatives and journalists have access to him should be raised, all the trumpets should be sounded. His state of health must be examined, because the man can die and the authorities would not respond in any way: no man, no problem”, believes the head of the regional BPF branch Siarhei Malchyk.
The prison administration, however, believes that the health of Mikalai Autukhovich on the 40th day of the hunger-strike is satisfactory. The governor of the Hrodna prison is now away on vacation, with his deputy Aliaxandr Aliyeu acting instead of him. He told Radio Liberty that the hunger-striker is every day visited by doctors who "check" his state of health and so there are "no reasons for taking the man to hospital".
The head of the regional BPF branch Siarhei Malchyk, a medical school graduate, twice went on hunger-strikes during arrests for unauthorized actions. He says that when Autukhovich was free he was able to achieve the intended result of his hunger-strikes because they had caused a wide public response, and he had had the support of the drivers. Going on a hunger-strike in isolation is a far more serious ordeal.
“After thirty days of full starvation, the organism starts to use the proteins of the life-supporting tissues to maintain life and restructure the cells: muscles, bowels, liver, heart, kidneys, these organs undergo destruction, the organism switches onto the minimal life-support mode. What is most important is that carbohydrate starvation is a permanent feature, and a decrease in the glucose level has a dramatic impact on the immunity system, and on the brain", said Malchyk to Radio Liberty.
Siarhei Malchyk notes that the organism is also being poisoned. He says that every day the hunger-striker has to get enemas and take showers to remove salts, poisonous substances released through the skin, because the activity of the kidneys and of the liver is disrupted. Obviously, Mikalai Autukhovich does not have such opportunities.
Mikalai Autukhovich was arrested on 14 October in Hrodna. He is accused of avoiding tax payments, which led to particularly large losses to the state budget. The sum of the taxes estimated by the authorities is 679 million rubles. The criminal case against the businessman concerns the second part of Article 243, which provides for punishment of three to seven years in prison. The court may also confiscate the property.
Mikalai Autukhovich protests against the imprisonment, because the investigation believes the investigation did not have any reasons to put him behind bars, because he was not going to escape. The complaints against his detention filed by his lawyers have not been granted so far.

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