- Please take action as-soon-as possible. This Urgent Action expires on September 14, 2021.
- 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.
- Click here to let us know the actions you took on Urgent Action 173.20. 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.
Ambassador 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]
Salutation: Dear Ambassador
Dear Prosecutor General,
I am deeply concerned about the imprisonment of taxi driver Viachaslau Rahashchuk who is suffering from serious medical conditions that have resulted from torture and other ill-treatment in detention.
On August 10, 2020 Viachaslau Rahashchuk was violently and arbitrarily arrested by at least five police officers while walking with his sister and her 12-year-old son in Pinsk. On August 11, 2020 one of Viachaslau Rahashchuk’s former cellmates contacted his mother and told her that Viachaslau Rahashchuk had been very badly beaten by prison officers. He said Viachaslau Rahashchuk had a hematoma behind his ear, three cuts to his head and bruises all over his spine. Viachaslau Rahashchuk has had a continuous ringing noise in his head and after the beatings he would lose consciousness for up to twenty minutes at a time. In May this year Viachaslau was examined by a medic at the detention centre and was assured that he was fine. However, his medical conditions have not improved; the continued requests from his family for him to be examined by an independent doctor have been declined, and he is not receiving the medical treatment he urgently requires.
On April 30, 2021 Viachaslau Rahashchuk was sentenced to six years in a strict regime colony under Article 293 Part 2 of the Belarusian Criminal Code (participating in mass riots). His appeal hearing took place on July 6, 2021 and his sentence was upheld.
I urge you to:
- Ensure that Viachaslau Rahashchuk is released immediately as he has committed no crime and like, thousands of others in Belarus since August 9, 2020, has been detained arbitrarily;
- Pending his release, immediately transfer Viachaslau Rahashchuk to a hospital with adequate medical facilities to assess and treat his deteriorating health condition.