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VOLKAVYCHY, Belarus -- Dozens of tuberculosis patients at a clinic in the central Belarusian town of Volkavychy say they have begun a hunger strike to protest against their living conditions, RFE/RL's Belarus Service reports.

A hunger striker who asked to remain anonymous told RFE/RL that there has been a conflict between the patients and the clinic's medical personnel for some time.

He said on June 23 that policemen were recently called to the clinic by workers to beat the patients after they protested being locked in a storage room.

The hunger striker added that the patients do not even have basic necessities for personal hygiene and that their movement within the clinic is restricted.

Treatment at such clinics is mandatory for patients with an acute form of tuberculosis.
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