‘Wait’. Body of political prisoner Vitold Ashurak not given to family yet. He died in penal colony last week

On May 22, Belarusian media spread the sad news about the the death of 50-year-old protester Vitold Ashurak who was serving a five-year term in prison.

According to the family, they have not been informed yet when the body of the deceased will be given back to them.

On Monday morning, Vitold’s brother Andrey Ashurak told Belsat that he called the investigator conducting the probe into the death. The officer wrote down his phone number and said: “Wait for the call, our experts are working’. When asked whether his relatives could collect the body, the investigator could not answer affirmatively; he again asked to ‘wait’.

“We heard about the death on Friday evening; there were Saturday and Sunday then. It is a tragedy for us, but they [investigators] had a weekend,” Andrey Ashurak stressed.

Volha, the widow of Vitold, was told that her husband died from cardiac arrest. That is all that the family of the deceased activist knows about the cause of death; all further questions should be addressed to the Investigative Committee. According to Volha, Vitold never had heart issues.

Vitold Ashurak had many friends acquaintances’ people keep expressing their condolences and offering help to the family. The relatives just want to lay Vitold to rest in a dignified way, Andrey added.

Vitold Ashurak, an activist from Byarozauka, Hrodna regional coordinator of the movement For Freedom, member of the BPF Party Seim, passed away in the penal colony in Shklou, Belsat TV reported last Friday. In January, judge Maksim Filatau passed a guilty verdict in the case; he sentenced the defendant to 5 years in a minimum security penal colony for ‘participation in the group actions that grossly violate public order’ (i.e. for taking part in the 2020 post-election protests) and ‘violence against a police officer’.

Political prisoner Vitold Ashurak dies in Shklou penal colony at age of 50