Syarhei Kuntsevich, an activist of the Social Democratic Party and member of the opposition Belarusian National Congress, was released from prison last week.
He claims he was subject to electric torture in detention facility Nr 1 in Minsk. Four persons battered Kuntsevich and used a shocker baton to make him disclose the whereabouts of his associate and friend, former presidential candidate Mikalai Statkevich.
“Masked people dragged me by the hair. To force me to say where Statkevich was, they tortured me using an electric shocker, which lasted long. I did not tell them,” the man said.
Kuntsevich’s firmness and a public outcry over the fact of torture were main reasons for his release, Mikalai Statkevich believes.
Like other defeindants in the White Legion case, Kuntsevich was released on his own recognizance. He also had to sign a non-disclosure agreement. According to the activist, he does not even know what exactly he is not allowed disclose: no investigation was carried out, he was only tortured.
The fate of those who are still behind bars over the so-called case of patriots is in their own hands, Statkevich says. According to the politician, they should stick to guns and not to incriminate themselves: in a completely fabricated case, only their own words may be evidence against them. Much also depends on those who have been already released, he stressed.
“Tell us what happened to you in prison. A non-disclosure agreement should not prevent you from disclosing facts of torture. Do not talk about investigators’ questions and case materials – tell us what way they treated you. In such a way you may save your friends,” Statkevich asks.
About 30 persons – former members of the defunct sports and patriotic organization White Legion, state-authorized sports and military club Patriot, Young Front activists as well as people who are not associated with any organizations, landed up in jail after Alyaksandr Lukashenka’s words about ‘armed militants’ posing a threat to Belarus.
Two pre-trial prisons of Minsk, the KGB prison and the Interior Ministry’s jail, continue to hold 15 people accused of ‘preparing riots’, some of them were charged with ‘establishing an illegal armed group’. According to unconfirmed information, they may be tortured and drugged.