Belarus prisons are full of critics of the president


KYIV, Ukraine (AP) – A wave of COVID-19 closes Belarus prisons full of people detained for demonstrating against the authoritarian president of the nation, and some protesters who contracted Koronvi While accusing officials of neglect or encouraging infection.

Activists who spoke to the Associated Press after its release described massively crowded cells without proper ventilation or lack of basic facilities and medical treatment.

Kastus Lisetsky, 35, a musician who received a 15-day sentence for participating in a protest, said he was hospitalized with a high fever after eight days in an East Belarus prison and COIDID Two-sided pneumonia induced by -19 was diagnosed.

“The walls covered by the parasites, the lack of sanitary measures, the shivering cold and the shivering beds — which I found in Mogilev’s prison in exchange for medical aid,” Lisetsky told the AP in a telephone interview. “I had a fever and lost consciousness, and the guard had to call an ambulance.”

Lisetski said that before entering the prison, he and three bandmates were held in a Minsk prison and only had to sleep on the floor of a cell built for two people. All four have contracted the virus. After being discharged from the hospital, Lisketzky must return to prison to serve the remaining seven days of his sentence.

He accused the government of allowing the virus to run among jails for political reasons.

“Guards openly say that they do this on deliberate orders,” Lisetski said.

Opposition activists and some election activists say to give Lukashenko a sixth term by one vote, and some election activists say 30,000 to take part in the protest against Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko’s August in one vote More people have been detained.

The police repeatedly staged peaceful protests with clubs and stun grenades. The brutal actions over alleged vote-rigging and demonstrations have prompted the United States and the European Union to enforce sanctions against Belarusian authorities.

They were forced to leave the country after challenging second-placed opposition candidates Siwatlana Sachansukaya and Lukashenko in the presidential election, challenging 80% of the official results, urging foreign leaders and international organizations in Belarus Help prevent coronavirus outbreaks. Jails.

“In the center of Europe, prisoners are being intentionally infected with coronovirus,” Sikoshankaya told The Associated Press. “They move infected people from one cell to another, and the cells are overcrowded and lack ventilation. It is atrocity, it can only be evaluated as abuse and torture. “

Authorities have not released the number of prisoners with COVID-19, but rights activists say thousands of protesters tested positive after being detained.

“The terrible state of the peninsular system of Belarus has contributed to the outbreak of COVID-19 in prisons, but authorities have not even tried to improve the situation and put thousands of activists on that conveyor,” Valiantsin Sefanovic, vice president Viasna Rights Center, said.

44-year-old journalist Artissiom Liava said he had become infected last month while in jail awaiting a court hearing intended to accommodate 10 but housing about 100 inmates. Liava was detained while he was protesting in the Belarusian capital Minsk for the independent Belsat TV channel.

“First, fellow prisoners and then I stopped feeling the smell of the prison,” he told the Associated Press. “We all had fever, high cough and it seemed very weak, but they were not even giving us hot water.”

Liava said that after receiving a 15-day sentence, he was taken to different jails and jails in Minsk and surrounding cities, as officials struggled to house inmates in crowded detention facilities. He said that he had seen a similar situation in all of them – cellmetal coughs or difficulty breathing, and prison wardens vehemently neglected him.

“It was like a joke, doctors were not responding to pleas and complaints,” Liava said. “It was forbidden to lie down during the day and the mattress was folded. We all felt exhausted, but were forced to sit on iron beds in the basement without access to fresh air. “

The journalist said that he did not receive a single dose of the drug from behind bars. The next day after leaving prison, Liava said, he tested positive for COVID-19, and a CT scan showed that his lungs were badly affected.

“Jail doctors should be prosecuted for negligence. They risked our lives by denying us (basic) medical treatment, ”said Liava, who had a severe cough and was breathing with difficulty while talking to AP.

Belarus has reported more than 180,000 confirmed coronovirus cases since the onset of the epidemic, but many in the former Soviet republic of 9.4 million people were accused of manipulating data to hide the true scope of the country’s outbreaks doubt.

Lukashenko quickly rejected coronoviruses during the epidemic, shutting down fear and national lockouts and causing the new bug to “psychosis” and avoid citizens from driving tractors to the farm, drinking vodka and visiting the sauna Advised. His attitude has angered many Belarusians, frustrating the public over his authoritarian style and helping in post-election protests.

Ihr Hotsin, a doctor working at a top oncology hospital in Minsk, was detained when he attended a rally of medical personnel protesting the rift in the demonstrations. He said he and four of his associates were arrested, who contracted the virus while in custody.

30-year-old Hotsin believes he was infected in the Baranovichi city jail where he was kept in a 12-square-meter (129-square-foot) cell along with about 80 other inmates.

“Five doctors at our hospital were detained, and all five were tested positive for COVID-19, a 100% rate after release,” Hotsin said. “We should cry out loud about the outbreak of COVID-19 in prisons crowded with political prisoners.”

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