Updated at 21:04,23-03-2021

Imprisoned ex-presidential candidate: Petition for pardon might be falsified


Mikalai Statkevich believes such scenario to have become plausible after Lukashenka's proposal.

'This is linked with [Lukashenka's] latest statements. Once they threatened Mikalai that they would file the petition on his behalf,' his wife Maryna Adamovich says.

In his letter the politician stresses that in 2011 a prison official suggested he should write a petition with a demand to be released in the Belarusian language.

Trying to avoid falsifications, Mr Statkevich did write a statement but cited a fragment of his last plea and named 'the true criminal' [Lukashenka] there.

Then the ex-presidential candidate promised he would never leave the authorities a chance of saving their face in case of a petition being falsified.

* * *

Mikalai Statkevich is the last 2010 presidential candidate to be in prison. 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”. 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. However, the former presidential candidate keeps mantaining his innocence and refuses to ask President Lukashenka for pardon.