Lyabedzka denies signing any papers in exchange for release

The 49-year-old leader of the United Civic Party (UCP) was released from the jail on his own recognizance late on April 6...

 

Prominent opposition leader Anatol Lyabedzka said BelaPAN on Thursday that he had not signed any papers in exchange for his release from the KGB detention center.

The 49-year-old leader of the United Civic Party (UCP) was released from the jail on his own recognizance late on April 6.

While talking to reporters in the party`s head office in Minsk, Mr. Lyabedzka noted that shortly after his arrest in the wake of a post-election demonstration staged in Minsk on December 19, 2010 KGB officers had offered him to write a recantation or appear on television to condemn the protest, promising release in return. According to the politician, he replied that he would rather "bite off his right hand" than make any such statements.

Mr. Lyabedzka said that he had been forced to stand with his upper body bent and legs apart, undress, endure low temperatures and sleep in a brightly lit cell during his detention.

"But a brave person would withstand that. If I was ordered to put my legs 70 centimeters apart, I put the legs 130 centimeters apart," he said.

Mr. Lyabedzka noted that some guards had tried to prohibit him from doing physical exercise. "But I did up to a thousand push-ups and also tried to dance in the cell," he said.

The politician said that he was still facing a mass disorder charge under Article 293 of the Criminal Code. He denied knowledge of under which part of the article he had been charged, explaining that he had seen the investigator "only a couple of times" during his stay of three and a half months in the KGB detention center.

Mr. Lyabedzka would not comment on a controversial public statement made by UCP presidential nominee Yaraslaw Ramanchuk on the morning of December 20. He explained that he did not have the full information and had not spoken to the ex-candidate so far.

The politician said that he had maintained his innocence during questionings in the KGB detention center.

Earlier former presidential candidates Vital Rymashewski and Ales Mikhalevich, as well as journalist Natallya Radzina and opposition activists Andrey Dzmitryyew and Syarhey Vaznyak were released from the KGB jail on their own recognizance. Two more people charged in the mass disorder case, ex-candidate Uladzimir Nyaklyayew and journalist Iryna Khalip, were released from the detention center and placed under house arrest.