Political prisoner Natallia Hersche opts for hunger strike to improve confinement conditions

Natallia Hersche in Savetski District Court, Minsk, December 3, 2020. Photo: Belsat

On January 18, Belarusian political prisoner Natallia Hersche, who is also a Swiss citizen, was on a hunger strike, RFE/RL reports.

According to her brother Henadz, the reason was her not receiving letters which people had sent to her as far back as 2020. Natallia suggested the prison authorities were holding them back.

Soon after Natallia made a formal declaration of her fasting, her confinement conditions were improved: she was transferred to a better cell. Moreover, 38 letters were handed over to her within three days.

Belarus-born Swiss national gets 2.5 years in jail for tearing balaclava off policeman

When her demands were fulfilled, Natallia stopped hunger-striking. The prisoner does not have any health issues, she is in good spirits, her defence lawyer says.

On December 7, Belarusian Natallia Hersche was sentenced to two and a half years in prison for removing a balaclava from a riot police officer during a protest rally on September, 19. Natallia had been living in Switzerland for many years, but in 2020 she could not remain indifferent to the events at home and flew to Minsk. At one of the women’s marches, she was detained and sentenced to 15 days in jail. Then a criminal case for resisting a police officer with the use of violence was opened.

It should be noted that another political prisoner, blogger Ihar Losik has been hunger-striking for 39 days, since December 15.

Priest, two students go on hunger strike in solidarity with political prisoner Ihar Losik