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Jailed Belarusian Activist Put In 'Closed Regime'

Mikalay Autukhovich in 2008
Mikalay Autukhovich in 2008
MINSK -- Jailed Belarusian businessman and opposition activist Mikalay Autukhovich has been transferred to a so-called "closed-regime location" (PKT), RFE/RL's Belarus Service reports.

The Vyasna (Spring) human rights center in Minsk said it had received information about Autukhovich's transfer to the PKT for one month (see statement here).

The transfer is considered a form of punishment as an inmate spends all day and night in a cell either alone or with one or two cellmates. The convict is allowed just one hour to walk outside in a walled square.

It is not clear when Autukhovich began his PKT term.

Vyasna activists consider the transfer "the continuation of pressure imposed on Autukhovich by the authorities."

Autukhovich and his three co-defendants were convicted in May last year on charges of illegal possession of weapons and ammunition. Autukhovich was sentenced to five years and two months in jail.

The four were originally charged with preparing terrorist acts against officials in their hometowns of Vaukavysk, Hrodna, and Minsk. Those charges were later dropped.

Autukhovich and his colleagues say the cases against them are politically motivated.

Autukhovich is serving his prison term in a labor camp in the southwestern town of Ivatsevichy.

He currently has no legal representative and his lawyer, Paval Sapelka, was disbarred in March this year after having represented jailed presidential candidate Andrey Sannikau.

Read more in Belarusian here

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