Political prisoner Mikalai Autukhovich cuts abdomen to protest harassment


Mikalai Autukhovich inflicted a serious bodily injury on himself, the Platform human rights NGO reports, quoting a confidential source in the Hrodna-based prison No. 1. According to the source, Autukhovich cut his abdomen with a razor blade in protest against the ongoing harassment from the prison authorities.

According to HRC “Viasna”, over the past two years, the political prisoner has been twice charged with violating prison restrictions, a few weeks ahead of the expected lifting of all previously imposed sanctions.

On September 4 the prisoner learned that prison supervisors charged him with violation of the correctional institution’s internal regulations, just one month ahead of the expected lifting of all penalties from him. Mikalai Autukhovich was accused of allegedly failing to be in bed after the bedtime signal. Meanwhile, the political prisoner says he strictly observes the prison rules. Thus, the prison administration is trying to preserve for Autukhovich the status of a “violator of the prison rules.” It is in this status that can be used as a reason to convict him under Article 411 of the Criminal Code (“deliberate disobedience to the administration of the detention facility that executes a sentence of imprisonment”) and to add an additional term to the sentence, or to appoint a preventive supervision after his release.

As BelaPan reports, political prisoner feels better now. According to human rights activist Andrej Bandarenka, the head of a private cultural and educational institution Platform Innovation, Autukhovich was taken back to a cell, his health condition is satisfactory.

For more information on prison conditions in Belarus, see Report on the result of monitoring prison conditions in Belarus, published by Human Rights Center “Viasna” in 2013.



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