Agnieszka Romaszewska-Guzy: Lukashenka is responsible for Matskevich’s life

Philosopher, methodologist, and presenter of Belsat Uladzimir Matskevich has been on hunger strike in captivity for 12 days since February 15. But this does not get the necessary international reaction.

Agnieszka Romaszewska-Guzy, director of Belsat TV. A press conference on the hunger strike of philosopher Matskevich was held in Warsaw at the Center for Belarusian Solidarity. Warsaw, Poland. February 15, 2022. Photo: Belsat

On February 15, the Center for Belarusian Solidarity in Warsaw held a press conference on the situation of Uladzimir Matskevich‘s hunger strike with the participation of his colleague and ex-wife Svyatlana Matskevich and several Polish public and political figures.

Belsat director Agnieszka Romaszewska-Guzy commented on the international attention to the philosopher’s hunger strike in captivity:

“At the moment, Uladzimir Matskevich’s hunger strike came at a time of big general interest in the international situation. That is, I think, in a sense, it even overlapped with the situation that is now in Ukraine, all these statements about the war”.

According to Romaszewska-Guzy, the fact that the hunger strike “has gone off the main radar” is a severe problem.

A press conference on the hunger strike of philosopher Matskevich was held in Warsaw at the Center for Belarusian Solidarity. Warsaw, Poland. February 15, 2022. Photo: Belsat

A hunger-striker may be force-fed through a tube put into his throat – a process described as torture, a threat to life and health.

“It’s one of the worst things you can go through, all the prisoners have told you about it,” Romaszewska-Guzy noted regarding forced feeding.

And even without that, she added, a hunger strike is a significant stressor on the body.

“We’re afraid that something bad will happen,” she said. ” But the responsibility for whatever happens lies with the Belarusian authorities. They will have this man’s blood on their conscience, this man’s life. It depends directly on Mr. Lukashenka at this point.”

Today, all we can do is draw attention to his protest – from presidents to ordinary citizens – and express support from all sides, as well as emphasize the responsibility of Lukashenka and the Belarusian authorities for life and health of the prisoner.

The Matskevich case, said Romaszewska-Guzy, symbolizes what is happening to Belarusian political prisoners. There are currently 1,062 prisoners whose cases have been reviewed and found to be politically motivated by the human rights community alone.

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