Jailed Belarusian blogger Ihar Losik on hunger strike for 28 days

Political prisoner Ihar Losik remains behind bars so far: on January 11, a Minsk court dismissed a complaint filed by his defence lawyer and let the detainer stand, RFE/RL reports.

On January 10, there were reports about the transfer of the blogger from the remand prison in Zhodzina to another location, but the information turned out to be false, his wife Darya Losik said. Little is known about the probe into Ihar’s case, because his lawyer Dzmitry Lepretar had to sign a non-disclosure agreement.

The man has already spent 198 days in custody; on December 15, he started hunger-striking.

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Ihar Losik is known as an administrator of the popular Telegram channel Belamova which actively covered the events around the 2020 election campaign in Belarus. On June 25, his place in the town of Baranavichy was searched; the man was then arrested. Human rights activists recognised Losik as a political prisoner and urged the Belarusian authorities to immediately release him.

He was charged under Article 342-1 of the Criminal Code (‘organisation and preparation of actions that grossly violate public order’) and Art. 293 (‘preparation for participating in mass riots’).

Pleading not guilty and considers his criminal prosecution to be politically motivated, he went on an indefinite hunger strike ‘until all accusations were dropped or the measure of restraint was changed’. According to Losik, he has already spent half a year in prison on ‘the absurd charge’; he ‘would have had to use a teleporter’ in order to commit that crime, he stressed in his address published on Telegram.

Later, however, the detention period for the political prisoner was extended by three months, until March 25.

‘Blatant injustice’: Hunger-striking political prisoner asks EU envoys, democratic govts for help

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