Urgent Action Update: DETAINED RIGHTS DEFENDER DENIED MEDICAL CARE (Belarus: 148.20)

November 16, 2021

Marfa Rabkova is a Belarusian human rights defender and the coordinator of the volunteer network of the NGO Viasna. She has been in pretrial detention since September 2020 and risks a lengthy jail sentence simply for her legitimate human rights work. Despite worrying symptoms and a deterioration of her health, the prison authorities have been denying her requests for medical care for months, including urgent dental treatment.

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TAKE ACTION:

  1. Please take action as-soon-as possible. This Urgent Action expires on January 11, 2022.
  2. Write a letter in your own words or using the sample below as a guide to one or both government officials listed. You can also email, fax, call or Tweet them.
  3. Click here to let us know the actions you took on Urgent Action 148.20. It’s important to report because we share the total number with the officials we are trying to persuade and the people we are trying to help.

CONTACT INFORMATION

Andrey Shved
Prosecutor General of the Republic of Belarus
Vul. Internatsianalnaya, 22 220030 Minsk, Belarus
Email: [email protected]
Twitter: @prokuraturaby
Facebook: @prokuraturab
Charge d’Affaires Dmitry Basik
Embassy of Belarus
1619 New Hampshire Ave NW
Washington, DC 20009
Phone: 202 986 9420 I Fax: 202 986 1805
Email: [email protected]
Twitter: @BelarusEmbUSA


SAMPLE LETTER

Dear Prosecutor General,

I am deeply worried about the medical condition of Marfa Rabkova, a woman human rights defender and coordinator of the Volunteer Service of the Human Rights Center “Viasna”, who since September 17, 2020 has been held in pretrial detention.

She has multiple health problems and has been denied medical care for months. According to her family, she has not been allowed to treat her aching teeth for over six months, and a part of her front tooth has chipped off. After contracting COVID-19 her lymph nodes became inflamed and she had pain in the lower abdomen for several months.

Marfa Rabkova, who faces up to 12 years in jail if convicted, is being targeted for her legitimate activities as a human rights defender, such as observing demonstrations and documenting evidence of human rights violations, including torture and other ill-treatment of peaceful protesters by law enforcement officials. Marfa Rabkova has committed no crime.

I urge you to take all the necessary steps to ensure that:

  • Marfa Rabkova is released immediately and all charges against her are dropped;
  • Pending her release, she is urgently provided with adequate medical care and is treated in accordance with international human rights standards, in particular the UN Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners (the Nelson Mandela Rules).

Sincerely,

[YOUR NAME]

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES