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English

Mikhalevich to complain to UN Committee Against Torture about his detention conditions in KGB jail

 

Former presidential candidate Ales Mikhalevich is set to complain to the UN Committee Against Torture about his detention conditions in the Committee for State Security (KGB)’s jail.

On Monday, the 35-year-old Mikhalevich revealed at a news conference that he had been released from the KGB detention center after agreeing to act as a KGB informant. He said that he could not bear his “torturous” detention conditions any longer.

The politician said that he sent a letter to the Prosecutor General’s Office earlier in the day to complain about the conditions in the KGB detention center.

In the letter, Mr. Mikhalevich says that while in detention, he and other detainees were left to stand five or six times a day naked for a body search in a room kept at around 10 degrees Celsius, with their hands cuffed to a bar above their heads and officers kicking their feet apart.

The cell was overcrowded and cold; guards kept the lights on at night, forbidding the inmates to hide their faces away from the light, Mr. Mikhalevich says. Once, the floor was covered with acetone-based paint and the inmates were forced to inhale it, he says.

Besides, Mr. Mikhalevich says, some of his interrogations were conducted without his defense lawyer, which was in violation of applicable regulations.

When reached by BelaPAN, KGB spokesman Alyaksandr Antanovich denied that the KGB had freed Mr. Mikhalevich on the condition that he would act as its informant.

“As for the use of torture, the allegation is certainly untrue,” he said.

Mr. Mikhalevich, who was arrested on the morning of December 20, was let out of the KGB jail on February 19.

He is among more than 40 people who have been charged and may face lengthy prison terms in a so-called riot case opened over the December 19 post-election protest in Minsk. //BelaPAN

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