Political Prisoner Syarhei Skrabets Goes on Hunger Strike 11:33, 27/09/2006
On September 25 a former deputy of the parliamentary group “Respublika” Syarhei Skrabets, serving a sentence in the minimum security colony No. 3 announced a hunger strike. He stated about that on the same day when visited by a BelaPAN reporter in the colony situated in the settlement of Vitsba, 3 kilometres from Vitsebsk. As said by him, he went on hunger strike because he hadn’t been nominated for a conditional early release. S. Skrabets has also lodged a complaint to the penal jurisdiction department of the Interior Ministry of Belarus.
The head of the colony No.3 Vitaly Agnistsikau officially explained to the BelaPAN that S. Skrabets really has a right for a parole. However to fulfil all necessary procedures about half a year is needed. The administration of the colony is to make sure that the prisoner “had really reformed”. As said by the head of the colony, S. Skrabets is to be recommended for a parole in the beginning of October this year. The final decision on the case to be passed by the court.
Syarhei Skrabets was sentenced to 2.5 years of jail for alleged defraud of credits from the state on February 14, 2006.
The former candidate for presidency in Belarus, Alyaksandr Kazulin,who is serving the sentence in the minimum security colony No. 3 as well, confirmed his intention to go on an indefinite hunger strike on October 20 this year.
At the moment Kazulin stays in quarantine of the colony. Reports of some media that he is to work as a librarian, in a position previously occupied by Syarhei Skrabets haven’t been confirmed. The administration of the colony told to the BelaPAN that Skrabets had never worked as a librarian there, and Kazulin’s working place hadn’t been determined yet. However, the administration of the colony does not exclude his appointment for this position in the future.
Alyaksandr Kazulin says his state of health is “normal”. He is not eating prison food as before. He eats only food brought by friends and family to him. As said by the former presidential candidate, he has no complaints against the administration of the colony.
As we have informed, the leader of the Belarusian Social Democratic Party (Hramada) was charged with hooliganism and iolation of two articles of the Criminal Code. His attempt to come to the National Press-center to hold a press conference as a candidate for presidency on February 17 was viewed as hooliganism and organizing a mass riot (organizing group actions grossly violating public order and connected with insubordination to legal demands of police, or caused interruption of work of transport, enterprises or other bodies, or active participation in similar activities). On July 13, 2006 A. Kazulin was sentenced to 5.5 years of minimum security colony. Kazulin didn’t plead guilty. He was transferred to the colony No. 3 in the settlement of Vitsba, Vitsebsk region on September 21.