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'Beaten' And Jailed Belarusian Activist Has Broken Leg


Belarusian activist Kastus Zhukouski seemed to be in a haggard condition when he appeared in court last week.

Belarusian activist Kastus Zhukouski seemed to be in a haggard condition when he appeared in court last week.

HOMEL, Belarus -- A jailed Belarusian opposition activist who says he was beaten by police last week is reported to have a broken leg, RFE/RL's Belarus Service reports.

Kastus Zhukouski was jailed for 15 days on September 22 for insulting police and resisting arrest, although he claimed he was beaten by police when he was arrested in the eastern city of Homel on September 21.

A human rights activist in Homel, Leanid Sudalenka, told RFE/RL that he received a phone call from a duty officer at the Homel detention center who asked him to bring crutches to the center for Zhukouski, who is serving his sentence there.

"When I asked them why Zhukouski needs crutches, they answered that he has a broken leg which has been put in a cast," Sudalenka said.

Zhukouski looked tired, had bruises on his forehead, and his shirt was torn when he appeared in court on September 22, RFE/RL reports.

He told the judge he had a headache, nausea, and his neck, legs, and hands hurt. The judge allowed him to testify while sitting and ruled he should be taken to a clinic for an examination and treatment before the trial resumes.

After he returned to the courtroom from a health clinic, Judge Maryna Damnenka sentenced him to 15 days in jail.

Sudalenka told RFE/RL he plans to demand that detention center officials postpone Zhukouski's jail sentence until he fully recovers from his injuries.

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