By Stefan Djordjevic / firstname.lastname@example.org
Belarusian national team and former WNBA center Yelena Leuchanka has been released after spending 15 days of administrative arrest.
On September 30, the 37-year-old was sentenced to 15 days in Okrestina detention center, notorious for the abuse and torture of protesters.
“I want to inform you about the conditions of my detention. They endangered my health. For the last 13 days, I have not slept on a mattress that was taken away, but on cold metal sticks. Bed linen was also seized. There was no hot water for two weeks. During all this time we were not taken to the shower. Also, for two weeks they turned off the drain in the toilet – this is a breeding ground for bacteria and germs. The last time we were taken for a walk was five days ago. All these unsanitary conditions led to the fact that I had lice. My old disease – spinal hernias – worsened. My cellmate was ill and it is unclear whether it was a cold or something else. All of the above is a threat to my health,” Leuchanka said.
She was arrested at the airport on her way to Paris after participating in two peaceful protests on August 23 and September 27. On October 15, she underwent another trial after which she was fined and released.
Luchanka has been highly critical of the regime for manipulating the results of the presidential elections on August 9 and violently repressing the mass demonstrations over the last two months.
She was also very critical of the decree issued by the Belarusian Sports Minister Sergei Kovalchuk, which requires contracted athletes to learn the national anthem and not make statements to the press without authorization from their clubs or federations.