Siarhei Kavalenka in critical condition

The activist of the Conservative Christian Party of the Belarusian People’s Front (CCP-BPF) was repeatedly detained for organising a number of protest actions. In May 2010 Siarhei Kavalenka received three-year suspended sentence for hanging out a white-red-white flag on the 40-meter New Year Tree in the center of Vitsebsk. This action was defined as “major violation of public order”.

On December 19, 2011 Kavalenka was arrested in connection with criminal proceedings under Art. 415 of the Criminal Code (evasion of liberty restraint service). Being accused of violation of parole and facing three-year imprisonment he went on hunger-striking in protest.

According to his defence lawyer, the detainee’s condition is critical.

«I have still not allowed to visit Siarhei», his wife Alena Kavalenka says. «I am sure that the authorities intend to destroy my husband».

As far back as mid-January Siarhei Kavalenka wrote to tell her of being gavaged. Moreover, the predetention centre director assured Kavalenka’s family that the activist was taking a meal once a day for some time. But at the moment the arrested refuses food, the lawyer says.

Siarhei Kavalenka is to stand trial on February 21, 2012. In case of hunger-strike continuation it will be the 65th day of his expressing protest.


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