Political prisoner Barazenka went on hunger strike in detention facility

Activist of the civil campaign “European Belarus” Alyaksandr Barazenka has gone on a protest hunger strike in the Minsk detention facility and is going to continue it unless he is released. He wrote this in a letter to his friends. The letter was written on November 10, so the strike may be lasting for a week.

As activist of the “European Belarus” Palina Dzyakava, who received the letter from Alyaksandr Barazenka, told to the Charter’97 press center, the oppositionist didn’t write directly he was on a hunger strike. “Otherwise, his letter had failed to pass prison censorship and I hadn’t been sent,” the girl says.

Alyaksandr Barazenka wrote: “Today, 10.11.08, I have eaten all food. Don’t pass me food till my release (!) [it is underlined – note of the Charter]. I hope you’ll understand it… One more thing: as I have begun what you must have already guessed, bring me 2 boxes of tomato or vegetable juice to the trial.”

As the Charter’97 press center has already informed, a criminal case against the activist of the civil initiative “European Belarus” was submitted to the Tsentralny district court of Minsk. It is to be considered till the end of the year.

Alyaksandr Barazenka was arrested on October 27 in a building of the Investigative Committee of Preliminary Investigation of the city militia department of the Minsk city executive committee, where he had been called in for questioning. The oppositionist is one of the figures of the Process of 14, a criminal case, instigated on article 342 of the Criminal Code of the Republic of Belarus against participants of a peaceful rally of entrepreneurs, held in Minsk on January 10, 2008.

10 opposition activists, namely Alyaksei Bondar, Artsyom Dubski, Mikhail Kryvau, Mikhail Pashkevich, Alyaksandr Straltsou, Alyaksandr Charnyshou, Tatsyana Tishkevich, Mikhail Subach and Paval Vinahradau were sentenced to 2 years of restraint of liberty without sending them to penal facilities for participating in protest actions of entrepreneurs. Minor Maksim Dashuk got 1.5 year of restraint of liberty.

Alyaksandr Barazenka was in Poland during the investigation. He is a student of Wroclaw University. After first year student Alyaksandr had been expelled from Belarusian State University for a protest action against cancelling of social benefits, he applied for education Kastus Kalinouski Program.

It is an illustrative fact that the youth activist was arrested after the EU had suspended sanctions on high ranking Belarusian officials.