Russian citizen Nikolai Kostyshev is on his second hunger strike in the Minsk penal colony of general and medium secure № 1. One of his relatives informed the organising committee on formation the Belarusian committee on defence of prisoners’ rights “Over Barrier.”
The coordinator of organising committee Timafei Dranchuk said Kostyshev “had to go on hunger strike, because he has been trying unsuccessfully to secure an acquittal for 2 years, though Belarusian law were violated repeatedly during the investigation and trial.”
“Though he had a hunger strike and sent a number of appeals to the prosecutor’s office and the Ministry of Internal Affairs, Kostyshev has received no answers. The organising committee on the formation of the committee “Over Barrier” sent several appeals to some institutions upon Kostyshev’s second hunger strike, but received nothing,” Dranchuk said. “Kostyshev has been on hunger strike for 47 days and isn’t going to end it until all his appeals and complains are considered in proper way.”
In July 2006 Kostyshev was sentenced to 12 years of prison with seizure of property according to the articles 207 (robbery), 286 (banditism), 378 (theft of personal documents) and 380 (forgery, making, using and sales of forged documents, stamps, blanks) of the Criminal code. The verdict was delivered in the absence of the accused.
Kostyshev says in his appeal that the verdict is grounded on “unreliable, false evidence of the imprisoned several times citizen Kozlov V. S.” who being already sentenced, blamed him “to receive money by extortion.”
Kostyshev went on hunger strike on 24 August. It lasted for about a month.