A jailed Belarusian opposition activist who says he was severely beaten by police last week is reported to have started a hunger strike, RFE/RL's Belarus Service reports.
Kastus Zhukouski was jailed for 15 days on September 22 for insulting police and resisting arrest. He claims he was beaten by police during his arrest in the eastern city of Homel on September 21.
Homel-based human rights activist Leanid Sudalenka told RFE/RL on September 26 that Homel detention center officials asked him to bring crutches for his friend Zhukouski, who had suffered a broken leg.
A second Homel-based activist, Vasil Palyakou, told RFE/RL he visited the Homel detention center, where he was told that Zhukouski is on hunger strike. The detention center duty officer also said that Zhukouski's leg was not broken, but "slightly fractured." He did not specify precisely how Zhkouski was injured and when.
Zhukouski was taken to a local hospital from jail on September 24 and his leg was put in a cast.
Palyakou said the duty officer told him that another activist, Zmitser Shauchenka, who is serving a 15-day jail term in the same detention center, is also on hunger strike.
Shauchenka was arrested in Homel on September 17 while distributing leaflets calling for a public silent protest action. He was sentenced the same day and has been on hunger strike since then.
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