Hunger striking Belarus activist to be transferred to a psychiatric clinic


Syarhey Kavalenka was sentenced to over two years in prison

Belarusian opposition activist Syarhey Kavalenka, whose health has deteriorated through a lengthy hunger strike, is to be transferred to a psychiatric clinic.

Officials in Minsk told Kavalenka’s wife, Alena, on March 23 that her husband would be transferred to a psychiatric clinic in a penitentiary in the eastern city of Vitsebsk next week.

Kavalenka, 37, was sentenced in Vitsebsk in February to 25 months for an alleged parole violation. He was later transferred to a prison hospital in Minsk due to poor health.

Kavalenka was detained in December for allegedly violating the terms of his parole for an earlier conviction on charges of "illegally displaying the banned Belarusian national flag."

He began his hunger strike shortly after his detention.

Authorities force-fed him in January, but he resumed the protest in February.
Copyright (c) 2012. RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty

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