Further information on UA: 264/10 Index: EUR 49/015/2010 Belarus Date: 23 December 2010
OPPOSITION ACTIVIST TORTURED IN DETENTION
Andrei Sannikau, an opposition activist in Belarus and presidential candidate in the 19
December presidential election, has been tortured while in detention. Andrei Sannikau’s lawyer
reported that his legs appear to be broken and the way he speaks and holds himself indicates
that he may have brain damage. He needs urgent medical attention.
Andrei Sannikau was injured when police broke up a protest against reported election rigging during the presidential
election on 19 December. According to eyewitnesses, he was assaulted by police who pinned him down with a riot
shield and repeatedly jumped onto it, severely injuring his legs. Friends attempted to drive him to hospital, but the
car was stopped by police and Andrei Sannikau was dragged out of the car and arrested. Witnesses claim that at this
time he had no visible head injuries. His wife, Iryna Khalip, who was travelling in the car with him, was punched in
the face and arrested.
Andrei Sannikau’s lawyer was allowed to visit him in detention on the evening of 20 December. According to the
lawyer, Andrei Sannikau had new cuts and bruises on his arms, face and head, he was unable to stand and could
barely move. The new injuries strongly suggest that Andrei Sannikau had been beaten again while in custody. The
lawyer described his condition as “horrendous” and said that the way Andrei Sannikau spoke and held himself
suggested he had suffered brain damage.
Amnesty International is gravely concerned that Andrei Sannikau may suffer irreversible brain damage and other
injuries if he is not immediately transferred to a hospital where he can be given proper medical treatment. Amnesty
International is also concerned that Andrei Sannikau remains at risk of torture as long as he is held in police custody.
PLEASE WRITE IMMEDIATELY in Russian or your own language:
Calling for the immediate transfer of Andrei Sannikau to a hospital where he can receive all the medical
Calling on the Belarusian authorities to take immediate action to ensure that Andrei Sannikau and the other
presidential candidates are protected from torture or other ill-treatment at the hands of the police;
Noting that Amnesty International considers him to have been detained solely for exercising his right to peaceful
Calling for his immediate and unconditional release.
PLEASE SEND APPEALS BEFORE 2 FEBRUARY 2011 TO:
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
Send copies to diplomatic representatives accredited to your country. Please check with your section office if sending appeals after the above
date. This is the first update of UA 264/10. Further information: http://www.amnesty.org/en/library/info/EUR49/010/2010/en