Yury Bandazhewski Transferred to Settled Colony
This week Yury Bandazhewski was transferred from Minsk prison to the so called settled colony in one of the former military barracks in Hrodna regions. Professor’s wife Halina said, he was deported by train for 3 days. During the trip his belonging were examined three times. When Mr. Bandazhewski got off the train, he almost broke into tears: at the station he was met by an officer instead of a regular armed escort with dogs.
The detention regime for Yury Bandazhewski was commuted under the law, because he had already served one half of his 8-year prison term. The penal jurisdiction committee could have commuted his punishment in the beginning of 2004, but put off till the summer.
“This system is created with the purpose to break a person”, -- points out Halina Bandazhewskaya. On Tuesday she had a meeting with her husband on the new place of his location. She brought him food, dishes, and clothes. Each room in the barrack is shared by 12 people. The conditions are horrible, says Mrs. Bandazhewskaya, cold water is supplied irregularly. However, it is still better than a solitary confinement cell. The professor is now able to more or less freely walk on the territory and breathe fresh air. Halina Bandazhewskaya described the health of her husband as satisfactory. He does regular workouts. Although this January he has almost died when the prison doctors misdiagnosed his appendicitis which developed into peritonitis and the pus went to the bowels, informed the wife of the former rector of Homel Medical Institute.
Mrs. Bandazhewskaya regrets her husband has no chances to continue his scientific research. However, she has high hopes for the early release of her husband when the 2/3 of the sentence would pass. This is expected in 7 months.
After her last meeting with her husband Halina Bandazhewskaya went to France with a big group of Chernobyl children who went there to improve their health. Meanwhile, the civic action in support of Professor Bandazhewski is under way in France. Over 14 thousand people signed the manifest demanding from the Belarusian authorities to release Bandazhewski and give him the opportunity to return to the scientific community and to continue his research in the sphere of impact of small radiation doses on health.
French human rights activists point out Mr. Bandazhewski has the right to general amnesty recently announced in Belarus. Now they have started a new action –sending out e-mails with the subject: Professor Bandazhewski is in prison, with the purpose to put additional pressure on the Belarusian authorities. When Mr. Bandazhewski was serving his prison term, he was named an honorary citizen of Clermont-Ferrand, Homel twin city.
Professor Yury Bandazhewski and his colleague Uladzimer Rawkow were convicted in 2001 for alleged bribe taking from parents of Homel Medical Institute entrants. Human rights defenders registered eight violations of the law during their trial. The international and Belarusian public considers Bandazhewski a prisoner of consciousness. He suffered for reporting truthful scientific information about the negative impact of radiation on health of people and criticizing the policies of the authorities in this sphere. However, the attempts of the public to make the authorities reverse the sentence had no success.