All News

Story of Stepan Latypov - Face of Protest #9

Archive news

Political prisoner Stepan Latypov tried to cut his own throat in the courtroom

Stepan Latypov — arborist, director of a small enterprise "Belarbo". He was engaged in the treatment of old trees and the destruction of harmful plants, such as hogweed, with the use of chemicals. Stepan has received professional training and certification in the UK, has an IRATA certificate (for performing work at height).

The criminal case against him was started on June 1. Initially, the Belarusian television had claimed that Latypov "intended to treat them [police officers] with toxic substance, spray these substances near the combat formations of riot police and internal troops during protest actions, in order to disable them". But at the end, the charges were brought under completely different articles. Latypov is accused under three articles of the Criminal Code of the Republic of Belarus: organizing group actions that grossly violate public order; resisting employees of the internal affairs bodies in the performance of their duties to protect public order; as well as fraud committed at a particularly large scale.

Stepan Latypov came to the court with swelling on his face, a bruise under his eyes, and a bandage on his left hand. After the court break, Stepan stood on the bench and stuck a pen in his throat. Before that he had said: "GUBOP (police unit to combat the organised crime) promised that if I do not confess, there will be criminal cases against my relatives and neighbors." Stepan was taken to the hospital in an unconscious state.

On June 10, the court of the Sovetsky district of Minsk continued considering the criminal case against the political prisoner Stepan Latypov, resident of the "Square of Changes". Stepan was put to a glass cage. He had a blue neck with a large scar on it. With him inside there were three guards in bulletproof vests, to whom he was handcuffed with both hands.

Judge Alexander Volk decided to send Latypov to a forensic psychiatric examination. The process will continue after the examination. The prosecutor supported the judge’s proposal, and the lawyer said that she did not see any point in it, since it had already been conducted. Stepan said that there wasn’t "the slightest need for an expert examination": "I've been through it once before." Stepan also added: "All my actions are not related to my inadequacy, but to the employees of GUBOP."