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Prisoner Nikolay Kostyshev Announces REPEATED Hunger-strike in Minsk Jail #1

2007 2007-12-11T23:17:17+0200 1970-01-01T03:00:00+0300 en The Human Rights Center “Viasna” The Human Rights Center “Viasna”
The Human Rights Center “Viasna”

According to the relatives of the citizen of Russian Federation, prisoner Nikolay Kostyshev, on 25 October 2007 he had to announce a REPEATED hunger-strike, because for two days already he cannot get justified, despite the numerous violations of the Belarusian laws during the investigation and his innocence. Though Kostyshev announced a hunger-strike before and sent a number of addresses to the prosecutor’s office and the Ministry of Internal Affairs, he received no answers. 

The organizing committee on the establishment of the Belarusian Committee for Protection of the Rights of Prisoners Over the Barrier sent a number of inquiries to several state organs concerning Kostyshev’s hunger-strike, but haven’t received any answers. 

Nikolay Kostyshev hungers 44 days already and is not going to stop the hunger-strike till his statements and complaints are considered. 

The organizing committee for the establishment of Over the Barrier calls the law machinery to react to the hunger-strike of Nikolay Kostyshev and re-consider his case. 

Below is the text of Kostyshev’s statement which was passed to the organizing committee on 9 December 2007. 

Having completely lost any hope for restoration of law and justice, I, Kostyshev Nikolay Alekseevich, citizen of the Russian Federation, not convicted before, consider my hunger-strike the only possible means to draw the attention of all progressive humankind to the problem of illegal conviction of citizens, who languish in the prisons of Belarus. 

Being in jail and having no possibility to protect myself and my rights on my own and feeling the counteraction of the court authorities, who obey to the dictatorial regime, I declared a repeated hunger-strike, which started on 5 October 2007.

Committing this act  of despair I hope that my recourses will be hear and I and thousands of other innocent prisoners of the dictators will receive support and hope for liberation, rehabilitation and the possibility to return to normal life.

In Belarus human rights violations have reached a catastrophic scale, thousands of innocent citizens of Belarus, Russia and other countries are kept in prisons and penal colonies. 

There is no use speaking about any civilized forms of human rights protections, because the machine of lies and mockery at the people, governed by Lukashenka, is gaining speed, making citizens and guests of Belarus live on its foul laws. The Constitution has been changed several times and turned from the fundamental law of the Belarusians into a convenient tool for retaining the power in one hands. 

The prosecutor’s office must control the abidance by the law. Instead, it became an interpreter of the law for the benefit of the ruling regime, unconditionally supporting all the President’s beginnings. It cannot be any other way, as otherwise the procuracy workers will be accused of inaction.

In order to show their success in implementing the President’s orders the investigative organs of the Ministry of Internal Affairs and KGB have started a witch-hunt and are trying crimes even where there aren’t any. That’s how such absurd cases as old peasants selling drugs or doctors who take bribes appear.

Despite the fact that A.Lukashenka does not stop calling the Republic of Belarus a democratic state the court ceased to be an independent branch of power long ago. What independence can a judge have if he/she works for a limited term, which is prolonged on the agreement of KGB and the President? What judge will have the courage to issue a verdict contradicting to the state accusation? There is no use explaining, that only the people who are faithful to the President still work there. 

In fact, the advocacy has also become a part of the system of the governmental genocide. A lawyer’s opinion means nothing in the Belarusian courts. I know it from my own experience that the first words the lawyer says are that you will serve a prison term – the question is how long it will be. The question of innocence is not considered at all, because they know that there are almost no justifications in their practice. Everything could be in a different way if private advocacy still existed, but after several victories against the President’s administration it was liquidated by the government as a separate juridical institution. After the liquidation of private lawyers, the prices on the market of legal aid became sky-high. One cannot use the services of foreign lawyers, though. No wonder that in the conditions of such legal boundlessness the majority of court verdicts are that absurd. This criminal, so-called justice can simply sentence a person to jail even in absentia. 

Since 22 January 2006 I, Kostyshev Nikolay Alekseevich, citizen of the Russian Federation, have been kept in conviction at corrective colony #1 in Minsk, Kalvaryiskaya Street, 36, p/b 35-17. 

The court of Orsha sentenced me in absentia to 12 years of jail under article 286 part 3, 207, 378 part 2 and 380 of the Criminal Code. The verdict was grounded on the false testimony of the recidivist Kazlou V.S., who, already convicted, gave a false testimony with the aim to blackmail from me 10 000 USD. This testimony was given by him two years after his detention, despite the fact that during the primary interrogations Kazlou V.S. denied my involvement in this case. Besides, the victims did not testify against me, they did not even know me and I did not know them. It was confirmed by the victim Barysau, who clearly stated that he had never seen me and had no pretensions to me. 

Being already convicted, Kazlou V.S. phoned to me several times (later I found that the calls were made from an investigator’s office phone), squeezing money and threatening to accuse me of the crimes which I had not committed otherwise. The fact that Kazlou could freely use the investigator’s office phone convinced me that they either acted in collusion or the investigator led his own game. 

In 2004 the investigator declared me wanted. He had no grounds for it, because I was not informed about the necessity to come to any investigative measures. I did not change the address and the telephone. 

During the interrogation and the investigative measures the investigator gave Kazlou a possibility to stay tête-à-tête with me in the room for interrogations of the investigative isolator of Orsha, so that Kazlou could once again propose me to give the money. When I again refused to this racketeer, he invited the investigator and a confrontation was conducted. 

During our last meeting, to which I came with my father Kostyshev A.N., the investigator proposed me to walk to the prosecutor’s office, where he allegedly had to sign some papers. During a talk he said that now my fate depended on him and I had only several days to collect the money so that I would participate in the case only as a witness. My father was present during this talk and can confirm this fact. 

Identical testimony was also presented by another figurant of these events. He sent addresses to the court and the prosecutor’s office of Vitsebsk oblast. Thus he confirms my arguments for my innocence, because he was a participant and a witness of these actions. 

On 6 July 2006 I was sentenced to 12 years of prison with confiscation of property. As far as I did not take part in the court sittings, according to the norms of the Criminal-Process Code of the Republic of Belarus, the court had no powers to announce a verdict in my absence. Article 294 of the Criminal-Process Code provides a detailed description of the announcement of verdict and participation in the trial. The judge violated the list of the circumstances provided by article 294, which manifested in the inaction in checking the documents that specified my location and falsification of the materials of the criminal case about my alleged evasion from trial and living on the territory of the Russian Federation. My regular residence on the territory of the Republic of Belarus can be confirmed by numerous witnesses: neighbors, the local police inspector, the officers of the Velcom Ltd. (mobile net) and workers of the communal services. 

The judge was to have provided the presence of the witness Kazlou and other persons with the aim to find the objective truth, but she did not do it, because the testimonies of Kazlou and other witnesses were very important and could considerably influence the accusation in the case of objective consideration. In fact, they exclude my relation to any criminal activities. 

I am completely innocent. During my hunger-strike I, my parents and my lawyer sent numerous addresses, protests and appeals, some of them with the assistance of mass media. The authorities of the Republic of Belarus ignored my requests to appoint a new – fair and unbiased consideration of my case, because of the neglect of the people’s fates by the officials of the dictatorial regime. You have a possibility to help the victims of criminal justice and make their struggle more effective. 

My address is: 220079, Republic of Belarus, Kalvaryiskaya Street 36, IK-1, p/b 35-17. Kostyshev Nikolay Alekseevich.

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