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Oppositionist on hunger strike needs urgent medical help

Ostatnia aktualizacja: 18.02.2012 12:30
Siarhey Kavalenka has difficulty standing, moving, even talking, his wife Alena says. Belarussian activist began his hunger strike in prison two months ago.
Siarhiej Kawalenka
Siarhiej KawalenkaFoto: spring96.org

On Friday activist of the Conservative Christian Party of the Belarussian People’s Front Siarhey Kavalenka and Alena Kavalenka registrated their marriage in Vitebsk prison. It was the second marriage of the same couple – they divorced last year because the oppositionist wanted to protect his family from the repressions on part of the Belarussian authorities.

Alena Kavalenka says that her husband is in serious condition. - I was shocked when I saw him. I could not help crying. He has yellow spots on his face, he is very tired, she said. Alena Kavalenka adds that he needs qualified medical help.

The son and the brother of Siarhey Kavalenka could not be present by the registration of the marriage. There were four policemen in the room instead. Alena and Siarhey could not speak to each other, Alena did not even manage to ask her husband to stop his hunger strike.

The trial of Siarhey Kavalenka will take place on 21st February in Vitebsk. If he continues his hunger strike, it will be the 65th day of his protest.

Kavalenka was arrested because of alleged “evasion of liberty restraint service”, it concerns his three-year suspended sentence for hanging out a white-red-white flag on the New Year Tree in Vitebsk. Siarhey Kavalenka decided on hunger-striking in protest.

The prison authorities force-feeded Kavalenka in mid-January, but now he continues his strike.

As his defence lawyer previously said, the detainee’s condition is critical.

Polish MEP Marek Migalski a.o. called on Belarussian authorities to free Kavalenka. The President of the European Martin Schulz also urged Belarussian administration to release him.

- I am appalled by the deteriorating situation in Belarus regarding human rights and political freedoms. The prolonged hunger strike by jailed opposition activist Siarhey Kavalenka highlights violations of democratic principles and disrespect for the rule of law. Kavalenka's life is now under threat from the hunger strike against his unjustified imprisonment. I urge the Belarusian authorities to release him immediately and unconditionally and to provide him with the necessary medical assistance. The Belarus authorities will have blood on their hands if he dies, the European Parliament President stated.

agkm, swaboda.org/belsat.eu

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Schulz: authorities will have blood on their hands if Kavalenka dies

Ostatnia aktualizacja: 14.02.2012 08:00
I am appalled by the deteriorating situation in Belarus regarding human rights and political freedoms, told European Parliament President Martin Schulz.
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