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A government critic stabbed him in the throat in court

In Belarus, opposition activist Stepan Latipov attempted suicide during his trial. He is said to have been tortured.

Belarusian opposition activist Stepan Latipov attempted suicide in the courtroom on Tuesday. The Belarusian human rights organization Vyasna reported that after his father was questioned, Stepan Latipov sat on the stage in the prosecution cage and stabbed his throat with a pen until he lost consciousness. He was taken to the hospital.

And Jasna reported that the 41-year-old had previously informed his father that he had received a threat that legal action would be taken against his relatives if he did not admit guilt. Latipo appeared in court with injuries.

Politician talks about Lukashenko’s “fatal character”

Like many Belarusians, Latipov participated in the protests against Governor Alexander Lukashenko last year. In September, he was found near his apartment in Minsk He was arrested and faces a number of charges, including resisting police arrest and establishing protest symbols.

The opposition politician and former presidential candidate Andrei Saniko, who lives in exile in Poland, spoke on Twitter of an act of “despair” by the 41-year-old. He said that Latipov was “beaten and tortured for a long time,” adding: “More evidence of the fatal nature of the Lukashenko regime.”

After the presidential election last August, overshadowed by widespread allegations of fraud, I entered the election Belarus Unprecedented mass protests given that Lukashenko Let down. Thousands of protesters were arrested and opposition leaders were forced into exile. According to Vyasna, 449 political prisoners are currently being held in Belarus.

Belarus tightened exit restrictions

After an attempted suicide by the government critic, Belarus tightened restrictions on the exit of its citizens. In the future, only those citizens will be allowed to leave the country by land who can prove that they have a permanent residence permit in another country, as announced by the Belarusian border guards on Telegram.

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Air travel is generally permitted. However, destinations have recently become very limited as the European Union has responded to Government critic Roman Protasiewicz was arrested A ban on take-off and landing of Belarusian airlines. The journalist and his partner were arrested after their flight, Ryanair, had to make a stopover in the Belarusian capital Minsk en route from Athens to Vilnius.

“Absolute violation of the law”

The Belarusian opposition denounced the exit restrictions now imposed, describing them as “an absolute violation of the law.” Valery Kwaliowski, foreign policy advisor to opposition leader Svetlana Tychhanovskaya, wrote on Twitter that the country’s constitution does not specify any conditions for leaving the country by land. Tichanowskaja lives in exile in Lithuania.

Several prominent opposition figures have fled abroad in recent months due to the authorities and security forces’ crackdowns on government critics, some of them covertly by land.

Already in December, the government of head of state Alexander Lukashenko made it difficult for citizens to leave the country, citing the Corona pandemic as the reason for this. Since then, she has not been permitted to leave the national territory by road more than once in a six-month period.