Ihar Tsikhanyuk, an openly gay man and LGBTI rights activist, was being treated at the hospital for a stomach ulcer in February 2013 when two police officers entered the hospital ward and asked that he go with them. At the police station, officers repeatedly punched and verbally abused Ihar, taunting him for being gay and threatening him with more violence. When police officers returned Ihar to the hospital, he asked for his injuries to be documented but hospital staff refused.
This took place shortly after Ihar Tsikhanyuk tried to register the Human Rights Center Lambda, a non-governmental organization (NGO) that supports the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) people in Belarus. Other founding members of Human Rights Center Lambda were also subjected to a series of police raids and investigations. In total, the Ministry of Internal Affairs "invited" more than 60 members in ten different cities for questioning. In some instances, these activists suffered abuses at the hands of police.
Those responsible for beating and threatening Ihar Tsikhanyuk have yet to be held accountable. Other activists connected to the Human Rights Center Lambda also remain at risk of further threats and abuses due to their sexual orientation or gender identity and continued LGBTI activism.
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WRITE TO THE GENERAL PROSECUTOR
Call on him to investigate the ill-treatment and threats against Ihar Tsikhanyuk by police officers at the October District police station in Hrodna.
Urge him to ensure that the officers responsible are subjected to disciplinary and criminal proceedings as appropriate.
Call on him to ensure the rights of all people in Belarus, without discrimination on any grounds, including gender identity and sexual orientation.
Generalnyi ProkurorSTART YOUR LETTER: Dear General Prosecutor
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