The founder of the telegram channel “Belarus Golovnogo Mozga” has been in custody since 25 June. Initially, he was accused under part 1 of article 342 of the Criminal Code [organization and preparation of actions that grossly violate public order]. On 15 December, Losik was charged with a new charge – article 13 and part 2 of article 293 of the Criminal Code [organisation of mass riots]. Many suggested that this was done “in order to keep Igor in custody, since the deadline for his detention on the previous charge expired on 25 December”.
Losik did not admit guilt and reacted to the new accusation with an indefinite hunger strike until all charges were dropped or the measure of restraint was changed. On the same day, his wife went on a hunger strike too, but on 21 December, she had to end it since her family was against it. On 25 December, it became known that Igor Losik’s detention was extended for another three months.
On 19 January, Losik’s lawyer reported that his client’s health condition deteriorated, but he will continue his strike nonetheless. “He feels weakness and has unstable blood during the day,” said Dmitriy Lepretor. But even before that, his family, friends, ordinary Belarusians and ex-presidential candidate Svetlana Tikhanovskaya repeatedly asked Igor to stop the hunger strike but to no avail.
#Belarus Ihar Losik, my friend, political prisoner, talented blogger and journalist, has been on hunger strike for 38 days while in jail. He cannot see his wife and daughter, but he is not alone. Belarusians continue to support him and other prisoners. Ihar’s life is in danger pic.twitter.com/uDVRDAySDZ
— Hanna Liubakova (@HannaLiubakova) January 21, 2021
In a letter to his wife, he explained his position: “Thanks for the “present” for Christmas. But I do not care. I know that I am not guilty, I have nothing to confess. Everyone around me knows this, including the people who control my criminal case. But I repeat once again: all the actions of investigators and prosecutors to continue repressions against me and my family will not affect my decision. After threats to my family, I can’t go back. I’m ready to die, but I will not give up, I’m ready to suffer for a long time, but I’m not going to break. Although my body is locked in a dungeon, my soul is free and is with my family. I will love them until my last breath.”
On 21 January it became known that two priests of the Belarusian Orthodox Church have submitted statements to the central office of the Investigative Committee for a personal guarantee with regard to the starving political prisoner Igor Losik. The priests motivated their actions with an attempt to save Losik’s life.
One of the guarantors, Priest Alexander Kukhta, wrote on his Facebook page: “Is Igor guilty? The court will decide. But he himself says that the case is fabricated, and this is a political process. Igor also went on a hunger strike (he can drink water, tea and vitamins. Everything else is prohibited), which he has been holding for 36 days. He demands to release him from custody. On the other hand (as far as I understand), the state also stands on its own and (so far) ignores all of Igor’s demands. It is difficult to say how this story will end, but there is a possibility that the person will die.”