Belarus: Opposition activist stabs himself with pen in court

Biélorussie: un militant d'opposition se poignarde avec un stylo en plein tribunal

According to Visna, Stepan Latipov climbed onto a bench in a cage reserved for “to prevent guards from reaching him” and then “stabbed him in the throat with a pen-like object”.

“Stephen turned blue and lay on the bench, an ambulance was called,” the NGO said.

Before taking action, the 41-year-old rival had warned his father, who had just testified, that he was threatened with prosecution and his family if he did not plead guilty.

Stepan Latypov was arrested on September 15 near his home, a housing bloc known in Minsk to be particularly active in opposition to President Alexander Lukashenko.

He is facing trial for fraud in the course of his business activities, for setting up an opposition symbol production workshop and resisting police during his arrest, for coordinating protests through a group on Telegram messaging.

Andrei Sainikov, the opposition and former presidential candidate in exile in Poland, spoke on Twitter about “an act of despair” and claimed that Stefan Latipov was “beaten and tortured for a long time”.

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