‘Patriots’ Case’ defendants beaten in front of lawyers

“Four of them beat me in front of my lawyer, they wrung my hands, beat me to the solar plexus with a knee,” said Syarhei Kuntsevich.

Mr Kuntsevich was recently released from KGB prison.

He showed us fresh bruises. He said that the conditions that prevail there are right out of Gulag and are meant to humiliate a person. It was his message about the terrible torture in the Detention Unit became the basis of the appeal of 9 human rights organizations.

“We are seriously concerned about the situation with all the other defendants, and therefore in order to prevent possible torture of these people, we require that the preventive measure is changed to the one not related to arrest,” said human rights activist Valyantsin Stefanovich.

Fourteen defendants are still behind bars

They are accused of illegal possession of weapons and mass riots. However, weapons shown in the STV story are airsoft. And the charge, according to the independent community, is fabricated.

“I was subjected to electric shock and told to disclose the whereabouts of Mikalai Statkevich,” said Mr. Kuntsevich.

Shortage of materials in the case does not allow to call the defendants political prisoners. It would give human rights defenders a possibility to address not only the Belarusian authorities but also the international community.

Human rights activists do not exclude that the defendants in the “Case of the Patriots” will be recognized political prisoners in the future. To do this, they will probably have to wait for the trials, where the circumstances of the case will become clear.

Maryna Vashkevich, “Belsat”, photo: virtualbrest.by

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