Belarusian Activist Summoned For Comments On Torture Charges

A Belarusian opposition activist was summoned by police today for commenting on charges of torture made by a former presidential candidate, RFE/RL's Belarus Service reports.

The charges were made on February 28 by former candidate Ales Mikhalevich, who compared the KGB jail where he was held for two months to a "concentration camp."

Mikhalevich told journalists that the jail guards made him stand outside naked in the freezing cold, deprived him of sleep, dragged him on the floor while handcuffed, kept him in an overcrowded cell, and interrogated him without a lawyer present.

Natalya Radzina, the editor of the opposition Charter-97 website, told RFE/RL that she heard commands given by guards to male inmates of the KGB pretrial detention center that corroborate what Mikhalevich told journalists.

Radzina told RFE/RL that she was summoned by police, who said her comments violated certain rules because she is currently under investigation.

Radzina was arrested in December and charged with organizing and participating in mass unrest following the disputed December 19 presidential election. She was released from a KGB pretrial detention center and sent to her native town of Kobryn in January.

Police ordered her not to leave Kobryn until the investigation in her case is completed.


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