Health of imprisoned journalist Siarhei Satsuk deteriorates

30.01.2023 Source: Служба маніторынгу Беларускай асацыяцыі журналістаў

In his letters, Siarhei Satsuk, editor of the Ezhednevnik newspaper, complains that the administration of the remand prison in Mahiliou, where he stays awaiting the consideration of his appeal, refuses to give him the necessary heart medication. As a result, his heart “is out of whack”.

“He got very sick, developed a fever, and his maxillary sinusitis aggravated,” his relatives told the BAJ monitoring service. “He wrote that it struck him really hard this time. But it was only when he developed a severe cough that the doctor prescribed an antibiotic and even allowed two days of bed rest – an unprecedented relief. He still has heart issues and has had a ciliary arrhythmia attack because he only takes half the dose of medication he needs. He is not granted access to the pills we sent earlier, despite his requests. Unfortunately, his condition is largely ignored.”

Moreover, for unknown reasons, the political prisoner is regularly transferred from one cell to another, which affects his physical and psychological well-being.

Most of the letters from the family do not reach Satsuk.

Siarhei Satsuk will spend at least the next few weeks in the detention facility in Mahiliou – his appeal is to be considered by the Supreme Court on February 10. If it is dismissed, the prisoner will be transferred to a correctional colony to serve an 8-year term of imprisonment.

Siarhei Satsuk is not going to give up and is determined to prove his innocence based on facts. The BAJ found out that he personally drafted the last version of the appeal against the “disproportionate sentence.” The journalist had long specialized in judicial matters, so he knows the legal nuances as well as lawyers.

Siarhei Satsuk is an investigative journalist and editor of the Ezhednevnik news outlet (ej.by). He was detained on 8 December 2021 and charged with bribetaking, inciting social hatred, and abuse of power or office.

On 26 October 2022, Judge of Minsk City Court Sviatlana Bandarenka sentenced the defendant to 8 years of imprisonment and a fine.

He is also banned from holding administrative positions for five years. To ensure the execution of the sentence, the property of the journalist was seized: a car, laptops, tablets, mobile phones, and other electronic devices.