Prison Life of Professor Bandazheuski
On the eve of visit of the European Parliament representative Mr. Behrendt who expressed his wish to visit Iury Bandazheuski in prison, the authorities made the living conditions of the imprisoned professor a little better. Iu. Bandazheuski was excluded from he prison unit that consisted of 80 people and taken to a separate room on the territory of the prison hospital. Expecting Behrendt’s visit, the hospital administration hung jalousie and papered the walls of Bandazehuski’s room. They also put there wooden furniture, made by the colony prisoners, a TV-set and a computer that could be used as a type-writer. At present Iury Bandazheuski’s roommate is an ex-policemen who was found guilty of a murder. By the way, all earlier requests of Halina Bandazheuskaia to improve the living conditions of her husband were rejected with the words “All people are equal for the law”.
Before Bandazheuski’s imprisonment his wife Halina worked with him in Homiel Medical Institute. Now she had to move to Miensk. Here she works at the non-State institute BelRad, studying influence of radiation on people’s health and elaboration of radiation protection techniques, and as a cardiologist at a children’s clinic.
She says that in spite of the fact that the living conditions of her husbands have become better, his psychological state has worsened. The man who has been involved in scientific analysis, experiments and work with students has suddenly lost it all. He cannot do any research in the colony. The head of BelRad Professor Niestsiarenka applied to the Committee on execution of penalties with the request to make professor Bandazheuski a consultant on the present elaborations of the institute. I also asked to provide me with the possibility to bring my husband the institute elaborations once per month so that he could analyze them and felt busy, because now he is in full isolation. Absence of contacts with the scientific world preys on his mind. He says that he feels vacuum in his head that is very hard to bear. The colony administration allows me to pass him only one 30-kilorgam parcel for four months. My husband has an ulcer and he feels pain and weakness, eating the prison food. Thanks God they allow me to pass additional parcels from time to time…
I want people to know the present situation with studies of Charnobyl problem. In 1998 Iury Bandazheuski wrote a letter to Aliaxandr Lukashenka in order to inform him that the situation in Homiel region is dangerous for people’s health, first of all for children and pregnant women. In his letter to president professor Bandazheuski emphasized the importance of the scientific research concerning influence of small radiation dozes on human body. He tried to educate a new generation of radio-pathologists who could do scientific research… In 1999 he was arrested… At present Homiel institute doesn’t deal with study of radiation influence on human body. Both doctor’s dissertations, the topics for which were proposed by Bandazheuski, were rejected by the scientific council of the institute because of their relation to Charnobyl. Charnobyl committee has already excluded 43 villages from the zone of strict control, there were signed official documents that deprived the villagers of facilities. I don’t know what were the committee’s criteria for this. The problem is that people still don’t understand what is the sense of “influence of small radiation dozes”. Some of them still compare Charnobyl catastrophe with the nuclear bomb explosion over Hiroshima and Nagasaki. After those explosions many people got leucosis. There were similar prognoses for Belarus. The Japanese built large hematological centers in Homiel and Miensk. However, there wasn’t rapid growth of blood cancer here, because the influence of radiation in Belarus and Japan are different. There people received large dozes of radiation, and here are small dozes. Actually, we “eat” radiation – radioactive microelements get to our bodies with food. Radioactive cesium most often injures thyroid and heart. Bandazheuski said that the most important things to pay attention to are thyroid, heart, birth defects and defects in bodies of pregnant women. He wrote many monographs on this issue, but also said that his research is only a little shear that he managed to make for 9 years of work and it is necessary to involve international organizations in this research as in 10-15 years it could be too late. He used three main sources – clinical material, autopsy materials and experimental data (rats were feed with radioactive corn) to reach the conclusion about influence of small radiation dozes on human body. He devoted 9 years of his life to study of this problem. More than 30 people became doctors in radiology under his supervision. Homiel Medical institute educated the 1000th medic for Mahiliou region, liquidating the deficit of medics in distant districts.
Sometimes the professor feels depressed and says that he wouldn’t deal with Charnobyl problems any more. However, in some time he starts to ask his wife about the results of her experiments, as he simply can’t live without science. At present the authorities demand from him to take the blame, to write that he has really received a bribe and ask for mercy, but he doesn’t agree to this.
Public organizations of Europe and America have often applied to Aliaxandr Lukashenka with the request to amnesty professor Iury Bandazheuski, but didn’t receive any answer.
In 2002 the advocate Siarhiei Tsurko on behalf of Iury Bandazheuski prepared a complaint to the UNO Committee on Human Rights in Geneva, received confirmation of receipt and acceptance for consideration.
Prepared by Palina Stsiepanienka