Russian national on 56-day hunger strike in Belarus prison

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The Belarusian political activists have informed the Russian Embassy in Minsk about the cases when foreign citizens, including Russian nationals, are persecuted in Belarus. Human rights activist Tsimafei Dranchuk and Ihar Rynkevich, the coordinator of the organizing committee for the rehabilitation of the victims of political repressions, yesterday filed several documents on this matter to the Russian diplomats.

The documents reminded about the deportation of Russian political commentator Suzdaltsev and informed about the on-going hunger strike by Nikolay Kostyshev. This Russian national, now in a Minsk high-security prison, is protesting against what he describes as "illegitimate imprisonment".

Ihar Rynkevich commented to the European Radio for Belarus about his conversation with a Russian diplomat:

“I reminded Mr. Kobzev (a Russian diplomat) that this man has been on a hunger strike for 56 days. We are asking the Russian Embassy to take appropriate measures".

According to Rynkevich, the diplomat promised to bring this information to the attention of his seniors.

Nikolay Kostyshev was convicted in 2006 and sentenced to 12 years in prison and expropriation "for organized crime, robbery and the theft of personal documents".