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Opposition politician shared jail cell with 3 HIV positive people

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Belarusian Christian Democracy party co-leader Pavel Seviarynets. Photo: svaboda.org

Belarusian Christian Democracy co-leader Pavel Seviaryents was released on August 16 after having served a 10-day arrest for the protests against the restaurant near the Stalin's execution site in Kurapaty.

Seviarynets told Radio Liberty he was kept in a cell with three HIV positive people. “HIV positive people must be kept in separate cells. It was not the men’s fault. Those who put them in my cell were to blame for it. They must have searched for one of the HIV positive men all over Minsk (he was in the third HIV stage – the last stage before AIDS) to make him serve his 5-day sentence for a violation committed in 2011,” the politician said.

There are a lot of HIV positive prisoners in the Akreststina detention center, Seviarynets quotes the jail guards as saying. The politician found out that his cellmates were infected when he saw them taking HIV medicines at the end of his term.

When in jal, the confiscated manuscript of his novel Belarusalem was returned to Seviarynets. He was allowed to use a pencil  so he continued writing.