On October 5, lawyer Anton Hashynski reported a sharp deterioration of his client’s health state. Political strategist Vitaly Shklyarau, who was arrested in the summer of 2020, allegedly had COVID-19 in the detention centre.
“No treatment was given to him. In fact, he went through the disease without a single pill. On the back of the illness, he lost too much weight. On Friday [last week] it became known that he had post-coronavirus syndrome, i.e. heart problems, arrhythmia, severe chest pain, insomnia. Today, when the lawyer was visiting the detention centre, he [Shklyarau] was not taken out [to meet with the lawyer]. Tomorrow I will be seeking to see him in the morning,” TUT.BY quotes Hashynski.
As reported earlier, the arrestee was running fever within several days in September. According to the defense lawyer, Shklyarau’s test for the novel coronavirus showed the presence of antibodies, which may be indicative of his having contracted COVID-19. At the same time, the spin doctor and his cellmates were not isolated, the lawyer said.
Vitaly Shklyarau is charged under Article 342-1 of the Criminal Code (organisation and preparation of actions that grossly violate public order). The defendant may face up to three years of imprisonment. The political technologist was arrested in Homiel on July, 29. Later, state-run TV station ONT reported that Shklyarau ‘had mobilised [blogger and might-have-been ] Syarhei Tsikhanouski‘s protest electorate around himself’. In early August, Belarusian president Alyaksandr Lukashenka publicly made mention of the arrested political technologist. In his opinion, lots of people had been detained in Belarus, aiming to ‘destabilise the country’.
“Names, surnames, addresses, passwords, meeting places are known. It sometimes looks like a miracle. The media are alerting us that the Americans, the NATO, want to invade us here. Some people have been detained with American passports, married to American women working in the State Department. But they are being vehemently protected by Russian leaders,” said Lukashenka.
Vitaly Shklyarau was born in Homiel, the hometown of Syarhei Tsikhanouski. He studied in Germany, worked in the election campaigns of Angela Merkel, Barack Obama, Bernie Sanders. His wife is a U.S. citizen, working at the American Embassy in Kyiv. Reportedly, Shklyarau has a diplomatic passport. There were reports about Vitaly Shklyarau’s links to Tsikhanouski’s campaign, but he has repeatedly refuted his having any relation to it. Moreover, he was not in Belarus at the time of those events.