Mikalai Autukhovich: Don't believe if I am reported to have a stroke

2013 2013-10-16T13:30:17+0300 2013-10-16T13:30:17+0300 en

A political prisoner fears new repressions from the staff of the Hrodna prison.

Aleh Vouchak, the head of the organisation Legal Assistance to Citizens and a former prosecution investigator, gave an interview to charter97.org. He said he received a reply to the request he and Aliaksandr Kamarouski had sent to the Prosecutor General's Office on September 25. The co-heads of the republican association of veterans of the Soviet War in Afghanistan demanded to check if two sanctions on Mikalai Autukhovich were imposed legally. The reply says their request was resent to the Hrodna region prosecutor's office.

The human rights activist says the political prisoner worries about the recent incidents with him.

“Mikalai Autukhovoch says not to believe the prison authorities if they say he had a stroke or a fit. He is adequate and sane. His health allows him to be alive,” Aleh Vouchak says. “The matter is that the prison staff received an order to give him the status of persistent violator of prison rules a year before his release. We think the order comes not from Lukashenka, but from the officials involved in the first criminal case against Autukhovich. All of them are at liberty. They awfully fear his release.”

The human rights defender notes that Mikalai Autukhovich said to the prison authorities several times that he wouldn't violate prison rules. He plans to solve his health problems during three or four years after the release.

“It's obvious that the prison authorities are under pressure. They are going to issue the third warning to him. He resorted to extreme measures and cut his abdomen. He had to make a statement via Narodnaya Volia newspaper to describe all violations committed by the prison staff. Inmates cannot complain about actions by prison officers, because complaints never go outside prison. Those who want to seek justice are thrown into a punishment cell.”

Mikalai Autukhovich was imprisoned on February 8, 2009, for criticising the local authorities. He faced fabricated charges of “illegal actions with firearms, ammunition and explosives”.

On May 6, 2010, Mikalai Autukhovich was sentenced by the Supreme Court to 5 years and 2 months in a maximum security correctional colony under part 3 of article 295 of the Criminal Code, though his case fell apart at the trial for lack of evidence.

Mikalai Autukhovich is a veteran of the Soviet War in Afghanistan, a successful businessman and a democratic activist.

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