• Urgent Action

Urgent Action: Veteran Opposition Figure at Risk in Detention (Belarus: UA 113.20)

July 1, 2020

There are credible reports that long-standing Belarusian political opposition activist, Paval Sieviaryniec, is being ill-treated in detention following his arrest on 7 June. As a prisoner of conscience, he must be released immediately and unconditionally and his safety and security until then must be guaranteed.

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Alyaksandr Kaniuk Prosecutor General of the Republic of Belarus Internatsionalnaya str. 22 220030 Minsk, Belarus Email: [email protected] Twitter: @prokuraturaby Facebook: @prokuraturaby Instagram: @prokuraturaby
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 writing to you to express my serious concern for the welfare of Paval Sieviaryniec who was arrested on 7 June near his home in Minsk and is currently being held in poor conditions in detention. Paval Sieviaryniec was sentenced to 75 days “administrative arrest” for his participation in earlier protests, in violation of his right to freedom of peaceful assembly. He is a prisoner of conscience who must be released immediately and unconditionally. I am further concerned by credible reports that Paval Sieviaryniec is being subjected to ill-treatment. According to his wife and fellow detainees who have since been released, he has been unable to meet with his lawyer and has been kept in solitary confinement for up to ten days at a time. He is made to sleep on a bench without a mattress which is raised up against the wall every day from 6am to 10pm leaving only an iron stool in the cell. There is no running water in his cell, and he is deprived of exercise. His personal belongings, hygiene products and warm clothes have been taken away from him. He is a devout Christian and his Bible has also been taken away from him. Until 29 June, the detention center refused to receive any parcels for him from his wife and it is not known if the one that was finally accepted has been received by him. In the light of the above, I call on you to release prisoner of conscience Paval Sieviaryniec immediately and unconditionally and ensure that neither he nor any person is held in such conditions, which constitute cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment. Yours sincerely, ADDITIONAL RESOURCES