Raman Pratasevich’s parents worried about his health

Natallia and Dzmitry Pratasevich, the parents of 26-year-old Raman Pratasevich, former editor of the Telegram channel NEXTA, at a solidarity rally with Belarusians in the center of the Polish capital. Warsaw, Poland. May 29, 2021. Photo: USH / Belsat

Raman Pratasevich was transferred to the KGB jail, where his girlfriend Sofiya Sapega, detained with him at the airport in Minsk, is also kept, the Russian service of the BBC reports.

Raman’s father, Dzmitry Pratasevich, doubts his son is “awake and cheerful,” as he told his lawyer at the first meeting on Thursday.

“The lawyers may be telling the truth [about Raman and Sofiya’s cheerfulness], but it may be all done to avoid showing the true state of affairs. They can say in public that they are cheerful and so on. Most likely, they have been forced to. They sit there where joy and cheerfulness have no place. That can be staged. We have seriously intimidated lawyers. They were given a document [of non-disclosure] – you can’t say what article they are accused of. Such legal nonsense. And the lawyer does not tell us much,” said Dzmitry Pratasevich.

Raman’s parents are sure that their son was beaten after detention. In their view, the blogger’s condition “requires supervision by the authorities.” The parents have filed a statement requesting an inspection of the beatings visible in Raman’s video from official resources.

“We still insist that doctors be allowed to see him. A lawyer is not a doctor. Well, he’s chipper and cheerful – that doesn’t mean anything. We will insist that doctors be allowed to see him and evaluate his condition objectively,” said Dzmitry Pratasevich.

Now Raman Protasevich is in the Minsk KGB detention center. The police took a parcel from his sister to the detention center. At the same time, the book, which the political prisoner had asked for, was withdrawn from the transfer.

We should remind that doctors who watched the video of Raman Protasevich’s confession after his detention on 23 May became suspicious of the journalist being tortured. Thus, bruises and traces of possible strangulation could testify to the ill-treatment.