Updated at 14:48,20-09-2021

Imprisoned opposition politician to avoid prison medical support


Mikalai Statkevich will no longer seek medical attention in prison, his wife Maryna Adamovich says.

The former presidential candidate has complained to prosecutors about what he describes as the prison administration's efforts to use his health problems to step up pressure on him.

Excerpts from Mr Statkevich's letters suggest that the administration accused him of violating prison rules over an August 3 incident where he felt unwell and had to lean against a wall inside his cell.

Mr Statkevich suffered from high blood pressure for several days and was repeatedly seen by prison doctors in early August.

In his letters, the politician suggests that prison officers were happy to see him suffer from hypertension and want the problem to be aggravated. "The constant use of information about health problems for aggravating these problems is a means of slow murder," Mr Statkevich says.


Mikalai Statkevich is the last 2010 presidential candidate to be in prison.

For the years of Aliaksandr Lukashenka’s rule Mikalai Statkevich has been subjected to administrative penalty more than 30 times; before the 2001 and 2005 presidential elections criminal cases were initiated against him. The sentence given to Mr Statkevich in 2011 was one of the toughest: six years of imprisonment in a maximum security penal colony.

The reason might be explained by the fact that in his election speech Mikalai Statkevich addressed to the current president demanding "to give back all that you have stolen". Statkevich stressed he would talk to Mr Lukashenka like the latter usually did.

The authorities are trying to embitter Statkevich’s life even in prison putting him to a disciplinary cell or making him share a ward with an AIDS sufferer. What hurts the most is that the political prisoner is restricted in his freedom to be contacted and visited by his family.

For example, once the politician was sent to a punitive confinement because the prison officers found two nose-wipers labelled as "hygiene products", which was qualified as "gross violation".

However, the former presidential candidate keeps mantaining his innocence and refuses to ask President Lukashenka for pardon.

In January, 2012 Statkevich was transferred from Shklou penal colony No 17 to a closed prison, where conditions of confinement are much more severe. Such verdict was attained in the session of court which took place in the colony. According to its administration, Statkevich "failed to mend his ways" and "are not seeking to be released on parole".