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Sat Dec 26, 2020, 07:53 PM

COVID-19 Virus besets Belarus prisons filled with president's critics (protestors)

From AP News


Activists who spoke to The Associated Press after their release described massively overcrowded cells without proper ventilation or basic amenities and a lack of medical treatment.

Kastus Lisetsky, 35, a musician who received a 15-day sentence for attending a protest, said he was hospitalized with a high fever after eight days at a prison in eastern Belarus and diagnosed with double-sided pneumonia induced by COVID-19.

“Humid walls covered by parasites, the shocking lack of sanitary measures, shivering cold and a rusting bed —-that was what I got in prison in Mogilev instead of medical assistance,” Lisetsky told the AP in a telephone interview. “I had a fever and lost consciousness, and the guards had to call an ambulance.”

Lisetsky said that before he entered prison, he and three bandmates were held in a Minsk jail and had to sleep on the floor of a cell intended for only two people. All four have contracted the virus. Lisetsky must return to prison to serve the remaining seven days of his sentence after he’s discharged from the hospital.

He accused the government of allowing the virus to run wild among those jailed for political reasons.

“The guards say openly that they do it deliberately on orders,” Lisetsky said.

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