On 15 October, famous Belarusian basketball player Elena Levchenko was released from an isolation center for offenders on Okrestin Street after 15 days of arrest. She was supposed to leave the facility early in the morning, but was detained again pending a new trial for another episode of her participation in an unauthorised mass event. The court ordered her to pay a fine of 30 basic units (BYN 810, which is ~$315 or €268). As a result, she was taken out of the courthouse, bypassing her parents, friends, fellow athletes and fans who were waiting to meet her.
During the trial, the athlete described the conditions of detention as a torture. According to the athlete, there was no hot water, no shower, the drain in the toilet didn’t work, “which was a breeding ground for bacteria”, we were not allowed to go for a walk for five days, they took away a mattress and bedding, my health has deteriorated, I’ve got lice.
“Of course, it was a shock to me. I still need some time to digest it. I just can’t understand why they treat people this way. When you sleep for 13 days on cold beams, when a fifth person is thrown into a cell for four people, and someone has to sleep on the floor. At the same time, the attitude at a pre-trial detention center on Okrestin Street, where I stayed for the first day, was pretty normal.
At the isolation center for offenders, we were not allowed to wash, I had to sleep on the beams, the sewage system did not work. And all this in one room, the length of which is seven meters, and the width… [shows about three meters]. Why treat people like that? This is torture!” said Levchenko in an interview with Onliner Belarus.
Elena Levchenko said that after the isolation center for offenders on Okrestin Street she was taken to the Leninsky district police department, where she was treated normally. At the same time, the basketball player is not yet ready to share the rest of the details. She also refrained from answering the question of whether she plans to leave Belarus. Recall that Levchenko was detained at the airport when she was about to fly away for treatment.
Elena Levchenko is one of the best basketball players in the history of Belarus. She has played for the national team since 2001, playing twice for the national team in the Olympics. In 2010, she played in the women’s NBA final and was recognised as the best center of the world championship.
Levchenko supports the movement of athletes against violence and electoral fraud. She is among the 830 athletes who signed the relevant appeal. Among them are many stars of Belarusian sports: Anna Guskova, Nikolai Kozeko, Alexandra Romanovskaya, Alexandra Gerasimenya, Yegor and Nikita Meshcheryakov, Nadezhda Ostapchuk, Elvira German, Andrei Kravchenko, Stepan Popov, Dmitry Asanov, Ekaterina Snytina, Tatiana Likhtarovich, Olga Mazurenok, Vasily Khomutovsky, Alexander Kul, Alexander Krutikov, Artur Udris, Olga Barabanshchikova, Gennady Tumilovich, Sergey Shtanyuk, Natalya Zvereva, Oleg Logvin, Melitina Stanyuta and many others.