Belarus activist ‘stabs his neck’ in court

A Belarusian activist stabbed himself in the neck during a court appearance in the capital, Minsk, a rights group and opposition media have reported.

Footage appeared to show Stepan Latypov collapsing after using what looked like a pen as a weapon on Tuesday.

Mr Latypov was taken to hospital and was reportedly in a satisfactory condition after surgery.

He is accused of setting up opposition social media and also resisting police during his arrest last September. He has denied all the charges.

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President Alexander Lukashenko has carried out a harsh crackdown on opposition since his heavily disputed election victory last August.

Mr Latypov stabbed himself after his father had given a witness testimony in the courtroom, according to Belarus’ rights group Viasna.

It said that, earlier, Mr Latypov was heard telling his father that the law enforcement authorities had threatened to physically punish him if had not admitted his guilt.

He also said that they had promised criminal cases against his relatives and neighbours.

Viasna said it took some time before courtroom guards opened the defendant’s cage holding Mr Latypov.

The Belarus opposition Nexta Telegram channel published a video apparently showing Mr Latypov lying down on a bench in the courtroom.

He was later taken by ambulance to hospital

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