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Rights Groups Demand Release Of Belarus Doctor

Belarusian doctor Ihar Pasnou (file photo)
Belarusian doctor Ihar Pasnou (file photo)
Human rights organizations are urging Belarusian authorities to immediately discharge a physician in the eastern city of Vitsebsk from a psychiatric clinic.

The Belarusian Helsinki Committee and the Vyasna (Spring) human rights center in Minsk issued a joint statement on September 3 demanding Ihar Pasnou's release and that his case be reviewed by independent experts. A Vitsebsk court sent Pasnou to a psychiatric clinic last month.

The ruling came after Pasnou posted video statements on YouTube criticizing local officials for poor health care in the city. Pasnou insists he is healthy and that his forced treatment is a form of retaliation by authorities.

On September 1, the London-based international human rights watchdog Amnesty International also issued a statement demanding Pasnou's freedom and started an online campaign to collect signatures for his release.
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