Updated at 16:11,02-12-2016

Byalyatski denied meeting with dying father

The interior ministry's Corrections Department on Tuesday denied Ales Byalyatski permission to visit his father who is said to be dying.

The news came just one day after the Pershamayski District Court in Minsk granted the family's request for allowing the imprisoned human rights defender to meet with his 82-year-old father.

As Mr. Byalyatski's wife, Natallya Pinchuk, told BelaPAN, the Corrections Department explained that convicts whose sentence has not yet come into force may not be released temporarily for a meeting with a family member.

Mr. Byalyatski, who was sentenced to prison last month, has appealed the ruling, but no appeal hearing has been held so far, which means that his sentence has not yet taken effect.

On December 19, the chairwoman of the Pershamayski District Court ordered the temporary release of the 49-year-old Byalyatski to allow him to visit his gravely ill father. The judge was given medical papers proving that the activist's father could be dead within hours.

Ms. Pinchuk delivered the court order to the prison in Zhodzina, Minsk region, where Mr. Byalyatski is currently held, but its administration told her that there were no spare personnel to escort her husband to Minsk. Prison officials also pointed out flaws in the court papers, noting that corrections should be made in them.

Later that day, the court chairwoman refused to make any corrections in the court papers.