Opposition politician Sevyarynets may be held behind bars until after election

Pavel Sevyarynets will be freed no earlier than August 21, Dzmitry Paliyenka, an activist of the Belarusian anarchist movement, told RFE/RL.

On Saturday morning, the anarchist was released from the Minsk pre-trial detention centre in Akrestsin street, where he had served a 15-day jail term. Political prisoner Sevyarynets asked Paliyenka to share information that he might walk free on August 21 at 4 pm.

Dzmitry Paliyenka had to spend several days in a punishment cell next to the ward Pavel Sevyarynets was being placed in. The prisoners managed to talk through the wall.

“Pavel is holding up well, he sent regards and the words ‘Long live Belarus’ to everyone,” the activist said.

Last week, the authorities informed Sevyarynets’ mother that he would be released from custody on July, 22. Although the family and friends spent hours waiting at the prison walls, the politician did not appear.

Minsk: Jailed politician cuts wrist in protest against torture

Pavel Sevyarynets has been behind bars since June, 7. Since that day he’s had several more administrative arrests. During the trial on 18 June, he said that the day after his arrest he was thrown into a disciplinary cell: he can only lie down from 10 p.m. to 6 p.m., the room is 2 by 3 metres, and it is very cold.

“They took toothpaste and a toothbrush away. There’s no water at all, it’s off. [So] I had to cut my veins in protest. It’s never been like this here,” he said.

International human rights organisation Amnesty International launched a call to send letters to Prosecutor General of Belarus Alyaksandr Kanyuk demanding to immediately release Pavel Sevyarynets.

Amnesty International announces action to free Pavel Sevyarynets