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Belarus: Further information on torture and other ill-treatment/health concern: Emanuel Zeltser

, Index number: EUR 49/002/2009

US national Emanuel Zeltser was sentenced on 11 August 2008 to three years in prison for “using false official documents” and “economic espionage” following a closed trial. An appeal to the Belarusian Supreme Court was denied on 31 October 2008, also in a closed hearing. He is being held at a penal colony near Mogilev in eastern Belarus. His health has deteriorated further, and the Belarusian authorities are continuing to deprive him of essential medication for various ailments, including diabetes, heart problems and severe arthritis.

PUBLIC AI Index: EUR 49/002/2009
16 January 2009
Further Information on UA 121/08 (EUR 49/006/2008 7 May 2008) and follow-up (EUR 47/007/2008, 16
June 2008; and EUR 49/009/2008, 31 July 2008) - Torture and other ill-treatment/health concern
BELARUS Emanuel Zeltser (m), US national
US national Emanuel Zeltser was sentenced on 11 August 2008 to three years in prison for “using false
official documents” and “economic espionage” following a closed trial. An appeal to the Belarusian Supreme
Court was denied on 31 October 2008, also in a closed hearing. He is being held at a penal colony near
Mogilev in eastern Belarus. His health has deteriorated further, and the Belarusian authorities are continuing
to deprive him of essential medication for various ailments, including diabetes, heart problems and severe
arthritis.
At the time of his trial in August, Emanuel Zelter’s arthritis was so severe police officers had to carry him to
the courtroom. His state-appointed lawyer described his health as “catastrophic” following a visit on 21
November 2008. Since his conviction, Emanuel Zeltser has been visited by US Embassy officials, most
recently on 17 December 2008, during which he reiterated complaints about suffering chronic pain in the
back and legs, acute gout and very high blood pressure.
The Belarusian authorities allowed Emanuel Zeltser to be visited by an independent doctor on 6 January 2009,
who referred to his health as “a time bomb. Following the visit the doctor confirmed that Emanuel Zeltser is
suffering from increased high blood pressure and additionally from poor circulation in his legs and feet, bouts
of depression and, furthermore, that he requires heart surgery. He is receiving some medication, but does not
have access to all the treatment he needs.
RECOMMENDED ACTION: Please send appeals to arrive as quickly as possible, in Russian, Belarusian,
English or your own language:
- expressing concern about the health and well-being of Emanuel Zeltser and reports that the authorities have
failed to provide him with the treatment he requires;
- urging the authorities to ensure that Emanual Zeltser is granted immediate and continuing access to full
medical treatment;
- AI has received reports that Emanuel Zeltser suffers from diabetes, severe arthritis, high blood pressure,
poor circulation, depression and heart problems and urges the authorities to ensure that appropriate treatment
for these conditions is provided;
- seeking assurances that if he needs specialist treatment, he will be transferred to an external medical
facility to receive treatment;
- calling on the authorities to immediately order a prompt, thorough, independent and impartial investigation
into reports that Emanuel Zeltser has been tortured or otherwise ill-treated, and to bring those responsible to
justice;
- urging the authorities to ensure that Emanuel Zeltser is protected from further torture and other ill-treatment,
and given regular access to US consular representatives and lawyers of his choice.
2
APPEALS TO:
Alyaksandr Lukashenka
President
Administratsia Prezidenta Respubliki Belarus
ul.Karla Marksa, 38
220016 Minsk
BELARUS
Fax: +375 17 226 06 10
+375 17 222 38 72
Salutation: Dear President Lukashenka
Grigorii Vasilevich
Prosecutor General
Internatsionalnaya str., 22
220050 Minsk
BELARUS
Fax: +375 17 226 42 52
Salutation: Dear Prosecutor General
COPIES TO:
Vladimir Naumov
Minister of Internal Affairs
Gorodskoi Val str., 2
220050 Minsk
BELARUS
Fax: +375 17 203 99 18
Salutation: Dear Minister
and to diplomatic representatives of Belarus accredited to your country.
PLEASE SEND APPEALS IMMEDIATELY. Check with the International Secretariat, or your section office, if
sending appeals after 27 February 2009.

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