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Belarusian Activist Who Says Police Beat Him Freed From Jail

Belarusian civil rights activist Kastus Zhukouski

Belarusian civil rights activist Kastus Zhukouski

HOMEL, Belarus -- A Belarusian opposition activist who says he was severely beaten by the police who took him into custody last month has been released from detention, RFE/RL's Belarus Service reports.

Kastus Zhukouski was sentenced on September 22 to 15 days' administrative detention for insulting the police and resisting arrest. He claims the police who arrested him in the eastern city of Homel on September 21 beat him.

Zhukouski was using crutches when released from jail on October 6 as one of his legs is in a cast. He told RFE/RL one of the prison guards gave him money to buy a bus ticket to his apartment.

At his trial on September 22, Zhukouski looked tired, had bruises on his forehead, and his shirt was torn. He told the judge he was suffering from a headache and nausea and his neck, legs, and hands hurt.

On September 24, Zhukouski was taken to a local hospital and diagnosed with a broken leg. His leg was put in a cast.

Zhukouski was on hunger strike during his 15 days in jail. He told RFE/RL he is very grateful to everyone who supported him during his ordeal. "I was aware of that support," Zhukouski said.

Zhukouski said he plans to visit a local clinic to have his leg treated, and will then start legal moves in connection with his beating and arrest.

Read more in Belarusian here