Political prisoner’s fiancee may stop hungerstriking after police’s threats

An administrative case may be initiated against Dzmitry Furmanau’s girlfriend Volha Karakina who has been on hunger strike outside detention centre #1 in Minsk since July, 26.

The police threatened the girl with administrative proceedings if she failed to leave the area adjacent to the detention facility in Valadarski street, she told Belsat. Volha also announced her intention to end the protest hunger strike.

Furmanau’s mother and fiancée on hunger strike outside detention center

Dzmitry Furmanau, 35, was detained on May 29 during a picket to collect signatures for the nomination of Svyatlana Tsikhanouskaya as a candidate for presidency; he was a regional coordinator. On the same day Syarhei Tsikhanouski and his associates were arrested. Furmanau was charged under Part 1 Article 342 (organisation and preparation of actions that grossly violate public order) of the Criminal Code and recognised as a political prisoner by Belarusian human rights watchdogs.

The 2020 presidential voting is to take place on August, 9. Since the beginning of the election campaign, incumbent president Alyaksandr Lukashenka’s would be rival Viktar Babaryka, might-have been opponent Syarhei Tsikhanouski, politicians Mikalai Statkevich and Pavel Sevyarynets, as well as dozens of people. have been placed into custody. In late June, the Belarusian Interior Ministry also launched a probe into ‘illegal activities’ in which presidential hopeful Valery Tsapkala was allegedly involved.

According to human rights centre Viasna, there are 24 political prisoners in Belarus.

No water, no sleep, no air. What is it like to be a political prisoner in Belarus?