Alyaksandr Ivulin, a journalist at the sports media outlet Tribuna, a blogger and a football player of Krumkachy team, was not released after the 30-day arrest. When reached by Tribuna, his former cellmate revealed some details of their being behind bars.
Ivulin was detained in early June and later charged under Part 1 of Article 342 of the Criminal Code (‘organisation and preparation of actions that grossly violate public order’). According to the Belarusian authorities, they have photos of Alyaksandr going down the roadway during the protests, which gave ground for accusing him of ‘blocking off traffic’. The maximum punishment under the article is three years in jail.
Alyaksandr is OK, every day he does exercises, including warming up and stretching, the former detainee says.
“Of course, a month spent in the detention facility cannot go unnoticed – he lost weight and grew a ‘Mujahideen’ beard (but it is red). But he sticks to guns and keeps up,” Tribuna’s interviewee stressed.
In the notorious detention facility on Akrestsin Street, food parcels are not being handed over to prisoners now; they might be deprived of mattresses and pillows; in most cases, inmates are taken out of the cells only when handcuffed and with their hands raised behind their backs. In the Centre for Isolation of Offenders, where Ivulin was before, the conditions are even worse: 15-20 persons are often put into a cell designed for 4-6. During the transfer to ‘Akrestsin’, Ivulin managed to take his personals, i.e. a set of bedsheets, a towel, a toothbrush and a toothpaste, with him.
On the night of July 10, the journalist was placed in the pre-trial detention centre Nr 1, where the confinement conditions are reported to be better: inmates get mattresses and bedsheets, they even have a chance to take a shower or watch TV.
The Belarusian human rights community recognised Alyaksandr Ivulin as a political prisoner.