Uladzimir Nyaklyayew's lawyers Tamara Sidarenka and Uladzimir Bukshtynaw finally managed to meet with the former presidential candidate in the detention center of the Committee for State Security (KGB) late on December 27.
The defense counsels were allowed to attend the 64-year-old poet's interrogation hours after his wife petitioned the authorities to prove that her husband was alive. This was the first time that the lawyers saw Mr. Nyaklyayew after he was forcibly taken from a hospital in Minsk by plainclothesmen on the night between December 19 and 20.
As Ms. Sidarenka told BelaPAN, the interrogation lasted "at least four hours."
She said that Mr. Nyaklyayew did not appear to have suffered any serious complications from his injuries but had headaches. "His blood pressure jumped, he had been taking some pills before the arrest and has been given them now. His blood pressure has now been normalized a bit," Ms. Sidarenka said. "Of course, he is tired. His condition is not normal but is not that bad."
The lawyer said that she and Mr. Bukshtynaw had not been allowed to talk to Mr. Nyaklyayew in the absence of the investigator. "There was an interrogation, we were present and Nyaklyayew had to answer questions. But we talked during [the interrogation], explained a bit what is going on. We told him that his family are OK," she said.
Mr. Nyaklyayew denied any mistreatment on the part of KGB officers, according to Ms. Sidarenka. "[The meeting] eased our mind. His behavior is normal, he has an adequate perception of everything," she said.
The lawyer said that she did not know when she would meet Mr. Nyaklyayew next time, suggesting that the next meeting would again take place in the presence of KGB investigators.
When reached by BelaPAN, Mr. Nyaklyayew's wife, Volha, said that she was satisfied that the lawyers had been finally allowed to meet her husband. The woman said that she was concerned about Mr. Nyaklyayew's health complaints.
Earlier on Monday, Mrs. Nyaklyayew petitioned the KGB and the Prosecutor General's Office to "show" her husband to the public amid rumors that he was either seriously ill or had already died.
Mr. Nyaklyayew was severely beaten up by police on December 19 and later snatched from the Minsk City Emergency Hospital. He has been declared a suspect in the mass riot case opened in connection with the opposition's post-election street protest, which he did not attend.