Jailed blogger Ihar Losik attempts to slash wrists in protest against new charge

Another charge was brought against political prisoner Ihar Losik who has been behind bars since June, Radio Svaboda reports.

When Losik was informed of the new accusation, he made an attempt to cut his hands in front of the investigator and the lawyer. He also went on a ‘dry’ hunger strike, refusing food and water in protest.

Ihar Losik is known as an administrator of the popular Telegram channel Belamova which actively covered the events around the 2020 election campaign in Belarus. On June 25, his home in the town of Baranavichy was searched; the man was then arrested. Human rights activists recognised Losik as a political prisoner and urged the Belarusian authorities to immediately release him.

‘Blatant injustice’: Hunger-striking political prisoner asks EU envoys, democratic govts for help

He was charged under Article 342-1 of the Criminal Code (‘organisation and preparation of actions that grossly violate public order’) and Art. 293 (‘preparation for participating in mass riots’).

Pleading not guilty and considering his criminal prosecution to be politically motivated, he went on an indefinite hunger strike ‘until all accusations were dropped or the measure of restraint was changed’. Then Losik said he had already spent half a year in prison on ‘the absurd charge’. He ‘would have had to use a teleporter’ in order to commit that crime, he stressed in his address published on Telegram. Later, however, the detention period for the political prisoner was extended by three months, until March, 25.

In late January, the imprisoned blogger decided to end hunger-striking on its 42nd day.

‘I never sought publicity’: Political prisoner Ihar Losik quits hunger strike