Stepan Latypov climbed on a bench in the cage reserved for the accused “to prevent the guards from reaching him»Then«stabbed his throat with something that looked like a pen“, According to the NGO Viasna.
A Belarusian opposition activist tried on Tuesday June 1 on numerous charges stuck a pen in the neck in the middle of a hearing before being evacuated unconscious, announced the human rights NGO Viasna.
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According to Viasna, Stepan Latypov climbed on a bench in the cage reserved for the accused “to prevent the guards from reaching him»Then«stabbed his throat with something that looked like a pen». «Stepan turned blue and lay down on the bench, an ambulance was called», Added the NGO. Before taking action, the 41-year-old opponent warned his father, who had just testified, that he had been threatened with suing his relatives and family if he did not admit his guilt, according to the same source.
Stepan Latypov was arrested on September 15 near his home, a housing block known in Minsk to be particularly active in the protest against President Alexander Lukashenko. He is on trial for fraud in the course of his professional activities, for coordinating the protest via a group on Telegram messaging, setting up an opposition symbol production workshop and resisting the police during his arrest.
“Act of desperation”
The opponent and former presidential candidate Andrei Sannikov, in exile in Poland, mentioned on Twitter “an act of desperation“And claimed that Stepan Latypov was”beaten and tortured for a long time». «Another proof of the murderous nature of the Lukashenko regime“, he added. Alexander Lukashenko faced unprecedented and extremely massive demonstrations after his re-election to a fifth term in August 2020, which he claims to have won with 80% of the vote.
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Refusing any concessions, he has arrested or sent into exile most of his opponents and denounces demonstrations led by the West to overthrow him. The sometimes very violent repression of the protest movement has resulted in several deaths and thousands of arrests. At the end of May, an airliner on the Athens-Vilnius route was diverted to Minsk, escorted by a fighter plane, after a bomb threat which turned out to be false. An opponent who was on board and his companion were arrested, causing outrage among Europeans. According to Viasna, 449 political prisoners are currently held in Belarus.