NEW YORK (Dagbladet): A Belarusian activist stabbed himself in the neck during a hearing in the capital, Minsk, on Tuesday. In the video images, he appears to be using a stylus.
Latypov was subsequently taken to hospital and should be in stable condition following the procedure, according to reports BBC.
Latypov is accused of building social media to dissent in the dictatorship. The authorities also claim that he opposed the arrest in September last year. Latypov himself denies these allegations.
The country’s president, Alexander Lukashenko, cracked down on the opposition after declaring victory in August last year. He believes that the opposition did not win in a democratic way, and there were large demonstrations in the closed dictatorship.
The Belarusian organization Viasna reported that Latypov stabbed himself to death after his father testified in court.
They report that Latypov was interrogated while telling his father that the police had threatened to physically punish him if he did not plead guilty. He also said that they promised to prosecute relatives and neighbors for the crimes.
Nexta Telegram, which is part of the opposition in Belarus, has released a video of the incident that appears to show Latypov lying on a bench in a courtroom. He was later taken to the hospital.
Nexta states that Latypov underwent surgery and that his condition is “satisfactory”.
The Belarusian Ministry of Health reported that the condition is stable for a 41-year-old man without naming Latypov, according to Reuters.
Belarusian activist and political prisoner Stepan Latypov cut his throat in court today. His family threatened to sue him if he did not plead guilty. This is a consequence of state terrorism, repression and torture in Belarus. We must stop immediately, as opposition leader Svyatlana Tsykhanovskaya writes Twitter.
Many opponents have left Belarus since last year’s controversial elections. According to the BBC, the authorities in the country have now imposed a temporary ban on leaving the country for almost all residents.
Tsikhanowskaya, who believes she won the presidential election last year, has moved to neighboring Lithuania with her staff.