MINSK — Recently freed Belarussian opposition leader Andrei Sannikov said Monday that the country's authoritarian government tried to push him to commit suicide in prison.
Two days after he was pardoned by President Alexander Lukashenko, Sannikov, 58, said the government had placed special provocateurs in prison with him who had tried to break his spirit and get him to take his own life.
"I am sure I was being pushed to end my life," he said.
"What happened to me was organized by the most sophisticated sadists who knew the psychology of a prison inmate in general very well and knew what was happening in my soul."
Sentenced to five years in prison last year for protesting against Lukashenko's disputed reelection in 2010, Sannikov said he was moved from one prison to another seven times.