The Belarusian Association of Human Rights Lawyers Calls to Halt the Practice of Denying Attorneys Access to Their Clients in Places of Custody

The Belarusian Association of Human Rights Lawyers calls on Belarusian officials responsible for prison conditions to ensure the implementation of prisoners' rights and stop the outrageous and illegal practice of impeding attorneys from visiting prisoners.

The Association reminds that creating incommunicado conditions for prisoners can be considered torture. International law contains an absolute prohibition on the incommunicado detention of persons deprived of their liberty. Prolonged incommunicado detention may give rise to torture and is in itself a form of cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment, which is prohibited by the UN General Assembly Resolution 43/173 of December 9, 1988, as well as Article 62 of the Constitution of Belarus.

It is emphasized that currently it is reported about the non-admission of attorneys to persons serving sentences for politically motivated charges. So, Mikalai Statkevich has been held incommunicado for more than 90 days. No less disturbing information is received about Viktar Babaryka, who, according to the latest information, was in the hospital. Now nothing is known about his fate. There is also information in the media about the lack of communication with Siarhei Tsikhanouski, Ihar Losik, Maria Kolesnikova, and Maxim Znak.
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