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Belarusian man returned to prison after trying to cut own throat in court -local media

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By Reuters

– A Belarusian man who tried to cut his own throat during a court hearing has likely been taken back to prison after undergoing emergency treatment in hospital, local independent media outlet TUT.BY said on Wednesday, citing relatives.

Stepan Latypov, 41, was last seen being carried out of a courtroom into a waiting ambulance in Minsk on Tuesday.

Latypov had been arrested last September during an intensifying crackdown on protests by security forces loyal to President Alexander Lukashenko after a contested election.

He tried to cut his own throat after complaining of torture and threats to his family and neighbours during his trial, activists, local media and a witness reported.

The government said he was in a “satisfactory” condition after the hospital treatment, but has not confirmed his whereabouts.

TUT.BY said Latypov had been taken to a pretrial detention centre.

The human rights group Viasna-96 has recognised Latypov as one of more than 450 political prisoners in Belarus.

He was charged with organising riots, resisting police and fraud, and also accused on state television of planning to poison the police. He denies any wrongdoing.

In May, Lukashenko’s government was condemned by Western countries when a 26-year-old dissident blogger was arrested after the Belarusian authorities grounded a Ryanair plane travelling from Greece to Lithuania.