Political prisoner Stsyapan Latypau taken to jail again. He attempted suicide in court day before

Stsyapan Latypau.

Minsk resident Stsyapan Latypau, who tried to cut his throat and wrists in protests when his case started to be heard in Savetski district court of Minsk on June 1, was from hospital to the detention facility on Wednesday, Tut.by reports with reference to his family.

Stsyapan relatives brought a parcel with food products and essentials for him to pre-trial detention centre on Valadarski Street, and it has been accepted by prison officers.

On Tuesday afternoon, Latypau stood on the bench so that courtroom guards could not get him, then he pierced his throat with a pen. The defendant lost consciousness, the paramedic immediately took him out of the court building. He was put under induced coma.

Minsk protester Stsyapan Latypau tries to cut throat in court. He reports torture, threats in jail
2021.06.01 14:52

Shortly before the grave incident, Stsyapan Latypau said in court that the representatives of the Main Directorate for Organised Crime and Corruption (GUBOPiK/GUBAZiK) visited him in jail and threatened that criminal cases would be initiated against his family, neighbours if he failed to plead guilty during the trial. They also said his relatives might face pressure and even torture if they landed up in prison.

Since April 11, the political prisoner had been kept in punitive confinement, his cellmates were people with mental disabilities, his father told Viasna. According to Stsyapan Latypau, he has spent 51 days in the so called ‘pressure house’, i.e. in a cell where prisoners who collaborate with the authorities create unbearable conditions for any arrestee whom the prison administration points the finger at. Those who saw Stsyapan in court said he looked like as if he was badly beaten.

On Tuesday evening, Stsyapan Latypau underwent an operation at Minsk Centre for Surgery, Transplantology and Hematology; he was under anesthesia and on a lung ventilator. At about 8 pm, he recovered consciousness.

Latypau is a 41-year-old arborist (tree surgeon) and industrial climber, the director of the Belarbo company; he resided in a block of flats on Smarhouski Trakt Street. Belarusian uniformed services arrested him on September 15 in the the Square of Change (it is the place from which the murdered protester Raman Bandarenka was abducted in November). Stsyapan’s only ‘fault’ was the fact that he politely asked the officers to introduce themselves and show their IDs; his place was searched on the same day. At first, Stsyapan Latypau was accused of ‘planning to poison the security forces’, but later, the authorities ‘forgot’ about the charge and started to try Stsyapan for ‘organising actions that grossly violate public order’, ‘showing resistance when being detained’ and ‘fraud on a particularly large scale’. The Belarusian human rights community recognised him as a political prisoner.

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