Procuracy conceals systemic ill-treatment of political prisoner Autukhovich

2012 2012-01-11T17:50:33+0300 1970-01-01T03:00:00+0300 en The Human Rights Center “Viasna” The Human Rights Center “Viasna”
The Human Rights Center “Viasna”
Mikalai Autukhovich. Photo by Yulia Darashkevich.

Mikalai Autukhovich. Photo by Yulia Darashkevich.

The Brest Region Procuracy refused to instigate a criminal case over ill-treatment of Mikalai Autukhovich. Investigators say “it was impossible” to reveal the facts of systematic ill-treatment of Autukhovich or encouraging him to commit suicide by the penal colony authorities.

Pavel Sapelka, a former lawyer of the political prisoner, received this answer from an investigator of the procuracy. He filed an appeal to the procuracy in connection with information on Charter’97 website about cutting veins by Mikalai Autukhovich on 11 December due to arbitrary rule of the colony authorities. According to the lawyer, these actions by colony executive staff have elements of crime provided for by articles 145 (incitement to suicide) and 146 (encouraging a person to commit suicide) of the Criminal Code of Belarus.

Investigator Selekh examined the materials of the inquiry and found “no objective evidence of violation of official powers by penal colony officers was found during the inquiry and no information was obtained proving someone was involved in inclining Autukhovich to suicide”.

The inquiry called in question the explanations given by Mikalai Autukhovich during interrogation: “Autukhovich said he used a disposable razor to cut both his forearms on 11 December 2011, but the reason was that colony authorities ‘hide unlawful acts by V.Prakapovich, a supply manager at barrack No. 13, who beats inmates’. Autukhovich failed to say when Prakapovich beat inmates and whom exactly.” Questioned Prakapovich and other inmates denied facts of using violence. Investigators think “injuring of forearms by Autukhovich was not a suicide attempt”, and view this fact as “an act of self-injury in connection with protest against the rules of serving sentence set by the penitentiary authorities”.

Investigator Selekh explains placing the political prisoner into a cell-type facility for a month by punishment for “the act of self-injury”.