Amnesty International calls to release veteran activist Pavel Seviarynets
Amnesty International has launched an urgent action forcing the Belarusian authorities to release known opposition activist Pavel Seviarynets who is reportedly ill-treated while serving 75 days of administrative detention.
Seviarynets, co-leader of the Christian Democratic Party and a vocal and long-standing critic of President Aliaksandr Lukashenka, was arrested on June 7 near his home in Minsk and is currently being held in poor conditions in detention. The activist was sentenced to 75 days of “administrative arrest” for his participation in earlier protests, in violation of his right to freedom of peaceful assembly.
"Seviarynets is being subjected to ill-treatment. According to his wife and fellow detainees who have since been released, he has been unable to meet with his lawyer and has been kept in solitary confinement for up to ten days at a time. He is made to sleep on a bench without a mattress which is raised up against the wall every day from 6am to 10pm leaving only an iron stool in the cell. There is no running water in his cell and he is deprived of exercise. His personal belongings, hygiene products and warm clothes have been taken away from him. He is a devout Christian and his Bible has also been taken away from him. Until 29 June, the detention centre refused to receive any parcels for him from his wife and it is not known if the one that was finally accepted has been received by him," the appeal says.
Amnesty International calls Pavel Seviarynets a prisoner of conscience and insists on his immediate release.