Belarusian Helsinki Committee asks General Procuracy to check information about torture of Andrei Sannikau

2012 2012-01-30T17:03:03+0300 1970-01-01T03:00:00+0300 en

The reason for the appeal of the Belarusian Helsinki Committee to the General Procuracy is information which was filed by the wife of former presidential candidate Andrei Sannikau, Iryna Khalip at a press conference in Minsk on 25 January.

As reported, Khalip said that torture is used towards Andrei Sannikau in prison and his right to correspondence is restricted. Mrs. Khalip also stated that on 20 November Andrei Sannikau was forced to sign the petition for clemency to Aliaksandr Lukashenka with the use of threats and violence.

The Belarusian Helsinki Committee expresses deep concern in connection with this information.

BHC applied to the Prosecutor General with the request to check the information on the use of torture against Sannikau, to give public information on the audit and take appropriate action in response to the prosecutor.

"As Andrei Sannikau is in custody and his ability to defend their rights and disseminate information directly depends on the administration, we should be guided by the presumption of trust to the information about violation of his rights which is drawn in the appeals of his representatives and relatives. Accordingly, the State, through its agencies has a duty to especially carefully check such information," reads the BHC appeal.

It is known that at the end of last week, Andrei Sannikau, was transferred from a prison cell to the seventh brigade of the penal colony "Vitsba-3 '. Now he can have walks in the fresh air and contact with other political prisoners.

On 14 May 2011 the Partyzanski District Court of Minsk sentenced Andrei Sannikau to five years imprisonment in strict regime. The politician was found guilty of "organizing mass disorder" on 19 December 2010.

Since July Sannikau was serving a sentence in a prison in Navapolatsk, but two months later he was transferred the Babruisk colony #2 without any explanations. In November, the political prisoner was transferred to "Vitsba-3 '. Sannikau’s lawyers filed an appeal with the Vitsebsk Region Court concerning the unlawful refusals of the administration of the colony to let them meet with their client.