Belarus: UN expert calls for health access for jailed opposition leader on hunger strike

8 December 2006

An independent United Nations human rights expert today called on the Government of Belarus to assure access to proper health care for a jailed opposition political leader who has been on hunger strike for the past 49 days.

The Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Belarus, Adrian Severin, urged the Government to grant family members, legal representatives and independent monitors free access to Alexander Kazulin, leader of the Belarusian Socialist Democratic party Narodnaya Hramada and former presidential candidate, who was sentenced to five-and-a-half years imprisonment in July.

“On 20 October, Mr. Kazulin started a hunger strike to protest against the lawlessness in Belarus and to draw the attention of the [UN] Security Council to the situation in Belarus,” Mr. Severin said in a statement, voicing “his deepest concern.”

In a letter to his family Mr. Kazulin indicated that a doctor’s exam last month confirmed that he had lost 36 kilos, the statement noted.

Special Rapporteurs are unpaid, independent experts who report to the UN Human Rights Council.

 

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