B00M: Why Activist Slit His Throat In A Court Hearing | READ IN FULL
An opposition activist, Stepan Latypov has slit his throat during a court hearing in Belarus.
According to The Independent, Latypov, a defendant in the hearing, rose from the dock, took off his mask, drew a sharp object suspected to be a pen, and buried it deep into his throat.
Before attacking himself, Latypov had reportedly shouted to his father that he had been warned of his family and neighbours facing possible persecution if he did not stand up in court and plead guilty to his charges.
He also claimed authorities had placed him in a punishment cell for the past seven weeks.
Immediately the incident occurred, the judge ordered the court in Minsk to be emptied but efforts to save Latypov was chaotic as he was locked in the caged dock.
Prison officers were initially unable to get access. While they went off looking for keys, Latypov continued to hurt himself and lost consciousness in the process.
The activist is believed to have been put in an induced coma at the Semashko hospital in Minsk as doctors work to save his life.
Latypov, a tree surgeon by profession, is the latest of hundreds in Belarus to face trial for their role in organizing opposition to Alexander Lukashenko.
He was arrested on 15 September while trying to protect a pro-opposition mural in Minsk.
Authorities later claimed they had discovered evidence Mr Latypov was distributing elaborate poisons to kill police officers.
Latypov however uses poisonous chemicals for his work.