Last resort measure: political prisoner protests against reprimand


Mikalai Autukhovich has cut his stomach with a razor, human rights group Platform reports.

According to the unconfirmed data, the political prisoner expressed his protest against the prison administration’s illegal actions and abusive treatment. The reason for such a desperate move might have become his being reprimanded for … ‘the absence on his bunk on August 26, 2013’.

“As a former military man he has no difficulty waking up in the morning and going to bed in the evening on time. He got used to the regime. He has also become accustomed not to talk to anyone during 6 months saying only some words because he wants to block further provocations,” Belaruspartisan quotes an anonymous source. Thus, the prison administration aims to preserve his status of a ‘flagrant violator of penitentiary regime,’ Platform Innovation believes.

The administration of Hrodna Prison No 1 has neither confirmed nor denied the report by the moment.

While serving his term Mikalai Autukhovich has been subjected to disciplinary action more than ten times. After attempting suicide in December, 2011 he wrote to his family: “I am not a person who enjoys such living as it was in 1937. I had to defend my honour to be a man, not an animal. But I did not have another way out because they had not heard and understood anything. I am asking you again – please, don’t worry, I am strong, I will survive even if I am alone versus the evil ”.

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In May, 2010 the Supreme Court of Belarus sentenced the former businessman from Vaukavysk (Hrodna region) to five years and two months of imprisonment in a medium security penal colony under the Criminal Code’s Article 295 which penalizes the illegal handling of arms, ammunition and explosives, because of five hunting rifle cartridges found in his safe. Human rights defenders note that the sentence might well have been awarded in retaliation for Mikalai Autukhovich’s fighting against public corruption in the region.

Later the punitive measure for Autukhovich was replaced by a tougher one: he was moved from the penal colony to a prison where conditions of confinement are much more severe. Autukhovich was found guilty of persistent violations of custodial control rules. Such verdict was attained in the session of court which took place in the colony of Ivatsevichi on January 17, 2012.

www.belsat.eu/en

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