Risk of gangrene? Political prisoner deprived of medical aid

Political prisoner Zmitser (Dzmitry) Paliyenka is experiencing a serious leg problem, but a prison doctor is not able to help him.

“If I knew the reason, I would work in a hospital, not here,” he told Zmitser.

There is a nonhealing wound on his leg, which may result in gangrene.

Amnesty International considers Dzmitry Paliyenka a political prisoner and urges Belarusian authorities to immediately and unconditionally release him.

“We also do not know what the matter is, and that is why we cannot buy and send proper medicines. Zmitser says it looks like gangrene. But it isstill imprecisely,” his friend Maryna Nasenka says.

In addition, Zmitser has been sent back to do a glove-making job which earlier triggered allergy and asthma.

According to her, the penal authorities continue exerting pressure on the political prisoner.

“He is allowed to meet with his lawyer not face-to-face, but through a glass window; they have to talk over the telephone receiver. A public monitoring commission was barred from visiting him. He is still limited in money. He has the right to call only his father, not friends,” Nasenka stresses.

Paliyenka was repeatedly placed in a punishment cell for some minor violations. The political prisoner believes that the ground is being prepared for opening another criminal case against him (wilful standing in contempt of the prison administration).

In April 2016, about 35 cyclists gathered in downtown Minsk to take part in the Critical Mass cycling event, an action that was aimed at ‘reclaiming the streets’, i.e. asserting their rights. Although the event was observed by a representative of the Belarusian Helsinki Committee, the riot police brutally detained several activists, including Paliyenka.

Paliyenka was charged with using violence against a police officer (Article 364 of the Criminal Code). In late August he was accused of… porno-peddling. The court found the activist guilty under the both arlicles: in October, 2016 he was sentenced to two years of impisonment with a two-year reprieve.

A court in Minsk revoked the suspension over alleged violations of related restrictions. Taking into account the time spent in pretrial detention, the judge decided that the activist would spend 18 months and 13 days in prison.

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