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UN Special Rapporteurs informed about torture of political prisoner Dziadok

UN Special Rapporteurs informed about torture of political prisoner Dziadok
Mikalai Dziadok

UN Special Rapporteurs plan to demand that Belarus give explanations regarding the situation of Dziadok.

It follows from a reply to the appeal, informing about facts of increasing pressure on the political prisoner, that was sent on July 2, BelaPAN news agency learnt from Legal Transformation Center Lawtrend.

The appeal was sent to UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Belarus Miklós Haraszti, UN Special Rapporteur on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment Juan Mendez, PACE Rapporteur on the situation in Belarus Andrea Rigoni, Head of the European Union Delegation to Belarus Maira Mora and UNDP Resident Representative in Belarus Sanaka Samarasinha.

The appeal informs that Dziadok spent 42 days out of 1.5 months in solitary confinement after his transfer to a new jail; that his health and life are at risk; that he had to cut his wrists and abdomen; that he was deprived of the right to communicate with the lawyer and that he was forced to work.

Lawtrend writes: “Repeated incarceration of Mikalay Dziadok in the solitary cell deprives him of the possibility to meet the minimum needs for food and hygiene and correspondence with the family, as all this is forbidden in the solitary cell. There have been numerous attempts to appeal against the actions of the colony administration through national legal remedies, but they turned ineffective. Moreover, there is evidence of threats to prosecute Mikalay Dziadok under Art. 411 of the Criminal Code of Belarus.”

The Legal Transformation Center regards the above mentioned measures taken by the authorities of correctional facility No.9 in relation to Dziadok as torture and other forms of cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment. “The lack of effective remedies at the national level force us to appeal to the international mechanisms of human rights protection within the UN, and to inform the EU institutions and the Council of Europe, the agenda of which includes issues of human rights in Belarus,” the appeal writes.

Activists of the anarchist movement Mikalai Dziadok, Ihar Alinevich and Aliaksandr Frantskevich were tried in Minsk's Zavadski district court in May 2011 for violating part 2 of article 339 (hooliganism) and parts 2 and 3 f article 218 (intentional damaging or destroying property). Human rights defenders say the real reason for the conviction was Dziadok's participation in a peaceful rally near the Ministry of Defence against joint Russian-Belarusian military exercises.

Dziadok was to be released on March 3, but Mahilou's Leninski district court found him guilty of violating prison rules and sentenced him to a year and three days of imprisonment in February. The political prisoner was sent to serve his term to correctional facility No.9 in Horki.

Dziadok was transferred to the correctional facility in Horki on May 12 and was thrown into a punishment cell the next day. On May 19, he was again sent to the punishment cell. He asked to transfer him to another cell due to low temperature. The inmate cut his wrists and abdomen on May 20 to attract attention of prison officers. The political prisoner was taken to the medical unit, but he was later sent back to the same cold cell until May 26. Dziadok was transferred to the general unit and forced to work. He was thrown into the punishment cell for 7 days for his refusal to work.

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