Political prisoner Autukhovich taken to medical unit

2012 2012-01-13T17:33:44+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 has been taken to the prison medical unit for unknown reasons.

Autukhovich is to stand trial on 17 January to change confinement conditions for him. The colony administration says he does not want to mend his way.

“In fact, it is the same trial as Mikalai Statkevich had. It will be conducted in a similar way – in the colony, without unwanted witnesses, only in the presence of a lawyer,” Mikalai Autukhovich’s former lawyer, Pavel Sapelka, told “BelSat”. Like Statkevich, Autukhovich was recognized a malicious offender of internal rules and can be transferred from a penal colony to a prison for the term set by the court.

Pavel Sapelka also said he had information that Mikalai Autukhovich had been placed in a medical unit. The human rights activist does not know why.

Mikalai Autukhovich, a businessman from Vaukavysk, was sentenced to 5 years and two months in a penal colony in May 2010 for possessing five cartridges for a hunting gun. Mikalai Autukhovich says he was convicted illegally and refuses to collaborate with the colony authorities. The political prisoner went on hunger strikes several times protesting against sentencing.

The political prisoner serves sentence in penal colony #5 in Ivatsevichy. Human rights activists note the prisoner suffers from pressure from the colony authorities. Mikalai Autukhovich has been brought to disciplinary responsibility over ten times. On 13 December, the inmate was placed in a cell-type facility for a month, Pavel Sapelka reminds.

Mikalai Autukhovich was reported to have committed a suicide attempt due to pressure from the colony authorities. Aleh Volchak and Aliaksandr Kamarouski, co-heads of the organizing committee to create the Soviet-Afghan war veterans movement, appealed to prosecutor general Aliaksandr Kaniuk demanding to conduct an inquiry over pressure on Autukhovich. Human rights activist Aleh Volchak says he did not receive a clear answer: “We were only informed an inquiry would be carried out by the Brest prosecutor’s office.” The human rights activist admits he does not hope for positive changes in Autukhovich’s case.

Mikalai Autukhovich was recognized prisoner of conscience by Amnesty International.

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