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Belarusian Opposition Says Jailed Activist 'Tortured'

Jailed Belarusian opposition activist Mikita Likhavid
Jailed Belarusian opposition activist Mikita Likhavid
MINSK -- The Belarusian opposition Youth Front has said that a jailed activist has been "tortured" in the prison where he is serving a 3 1/2 year jail term, RFE/RL's Belarus Service reports.

According to the Youth Front, Mikita Likhavid has been placed in solitary confinement four times in the last 40 days which -- they said in a statement issued on June 16 -- is considered torture pursuant to international standards.

The statement said the administration of labor camp No. 10 in the northern town of Navapolatsak placed Likhavid in solitary confinement after he refused to accept the verdict against him.

Likhavid insists he was jailed illegally and has demanded a full revision of his case.

Likhavid is a member of the opposition movement Za Svabodu (For Liberty). He was sentenced on March 30 for participating in a rally with thousands of opposition protesters on December 19 to protest the announcement that incumbent President Alyaksandr Lukashenka had been reelected.

Likhavid's mother, Alena Likhavid, who last saw her son on May 27, told RFE/RL that labor camp warden Alyaksandr Sivokh asked her to persuade her son "to stop violating labor camp regulations."

She said Sivokh told her that he realizes Likhavid is not a criminal, but there are many prisoners like him and the "number will increase."

Alena Likhavid quoted Sivokh as saying the labor camp administration cannot allow Likhavid to ignore penitentiary regulations, as that would set a bad precedent for other camp inmates.

She added that Sivokh warned her that if "her son did not stop his behavior, the administration would have to use even harsher measures."

"I wonder what kind of harsher measures there could be," Alena Likhavid said.

Read more in Belarusian here