Amnesty International human rights organization considers Ihar Koktysh, who is in a detention center in Simferopol waiting for his extradition to Belarus, to be a prisoner of conscience.
30-year old Ihar Koktysh is accused by Belarusian prosecutors of committing an intentional murder. He has been in a detention center in Ukraine since June 25, 2007, waiting for his extradition, Radio Svaboda reports.
Amnesty International called on the Ukraine authorises not to return Ihar Koktysh to Belarus.
A criminal case against a musician from Baranavichy and founder of the humanitarian organization named after Jan Bosk, was instigated in January 2001. He was accused of murder of his friend’s relative.
The leader of Mlechny Put (Milky Way) music band spent ten months in a detention facility in Baranavichy.
He said he had been tortured, beaten, locked naked in a freezing cell, and deprived of necessary medication for his asthma. The district court of Brest found him not guilty on December 7, 2001. Witnesses said at the trial Ihar Koktysh had been in another town when the murder had been committed.
The prosecutor’s office appealed against the verdict and the case was returned to the Brest court for a retrial.
Ihar Koktysh was in Ukraine and chose not to return to Belarus.
He was detained by local police in Ukraine. On April 25, 2007, he was thrown in a detention facility in Simferopol until his extradition to Belarus.
In October 2007, the European Court of Human Rights called on the government of Ukraine to not extradite the arrested to Belarus; and Amnesty International urged the Ukrainian authorities not to allow extradition.
Alyaksandr Milinkevich addressed the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees asking to help Ihar Koktysh to get a status of a political refugee in Ukraine.