Hunger-striker Siarhei Kavalenka to marry today

The marriage registration of political prisoner and his common law wife Alena is to be on February 17, 2012. It will bring them an opportunity of seeing each other.

Siarhei Pratsenka, acting head of the corrections department, informed «Narodnaya Volya» of the oncoming marriage. Pratsenka added: «At the current moment Kavalenka does refuse food, but his state of health is satisfactory. As times have changed nobody will force-feed him.»

As far back as mid-January Siarhei Kavalenka wrote to tell his wife 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. He admittedly agreed to force-feeding in order to not to be sent to a mental health facility.

«Force-feeding after his 30-day hunger-strike was a great danger to Siarhei’s health. Anything might have happened to his internals,» former political prisoner Alexander Kazulin says. «Siarhei is a man of principle. He is srong in spirit. In my opinion, if Siarhei starts waterless hunger-striking he may live no more than seven days under such conditions.»

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. 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.

The political prisoner has two children, his wife Alena Kavalenka is on her maternity live. Before his arrest Siarhei Kavalenka worked as a private builder to keep the family.


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