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Russian national Yegor Dudnikov complains of poor jail conditions in Belarus

Source: Dozhd

Russian national Yegor Dudnikov, who has been in pre-trial detention in Minsk since May, has complained about the poor conditions of detention and the deterioration of his health, his mother and lawyer told the independent television channel Dozhd.

“At the moment I know that his condition has worsened: the weather and the consequences of beatings during detention have had a very negative effect on his health,” said his mother, Yulia Dudnikova. “He has constant headaches and a broken tooth that hurts constantly, and panic attacks. And, unfortunately, the doctors are in no hurry to help prisoners.”

Dudnikov’s lawyer, Anton Gashinsky, added that Dudnikov has complained about the conditions in the pre-trial detention center. The Russian national claims that it’s “practically impossible” to eat the food provided by the prison administration, so he only eats what he receives in care packages.

In addition, Gashinsky said that due to a recent heatwave in Belarus, the temperature inside the pre-trial detention center reached 50 degrees Celsius (122 degrees Fahrenheit). Combined with poor nutrition and hygiene conditions inside the jail, this puts Dudnikov at risk for illness, the lawyer underscored. “You can only wash yourself one per week and only for 5–15 minutes. Accordingly, it’s very difficult to maintain personal hygiene,” he said.

Twenty-year-old Yegor Dudnikov was arrested in Minsk in early May, on suspicion of organizing actions that grossly violated public order. He faces up to three years in prison.

On July 2, Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko publicly named Dudnikov as the moderator of a Telegram channel called “Self-Defense Units of Belarus,” claiming it was created by members of a “terrorist sleeper cell” to carry out a violent change of power in Belarus.

Earlier, Dudnikov claimed that after his arrest he was beaten up and forced to incriminate himself. According to his lawyer and family members, he recorded voice-over for Belarusian opposition videos created during the wave of anti-Lukashenko protests in 2020, but didn’t take part in the demonstrations themselves. 

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