Colony #26 Refuses to Release Yury Bandazhewski before Time

2005 2005-02-01T10:00:00+0200 1970-01-01T03:00:00+0300 en The Human Rights Center “Viasna” The Human Rights Center “Viasna”
The Human Rights Center “Viasna”

RFE/RL

In June 2001 the professor Yury Bandazhewski was sentenced to eight years of jail for alleged bribery. Then his term was reduced to six years as a result of an amnesty. The professor spent a part of his prison term in Minsk. Human rights activists believe the professor was imprisoned for his scientific investigations of the influence of small dozes of radiation on human body. In France there was established a committee in defense of the professor, Amnesty International and scientists of different countries send the authorities letters with requests to release Yury Bandazhewski so that he would have the possibility to continue his scientific activity.

According to Belarusian legislation, Bandazhewski, who has spent more than a half of his term, has the right to be released from jail before time. He has never violated discipline in jail and his health has seriously deteriorated there. However, the commission of colony#26 didn’t take these circumstances into consideration and refused to set him free. According to the professor’s wife Halina Bandazhewskaya, she knew it in advance and that the head of the colony Vasil Kaliada said they wouldn’t release her husband because of the official pressurization. The formal reasons for the refusal are that the professor doesn’t take the blame and refuses to pay the court expenses.

According to Halina Bandazhewskaya, she has no money to pay for the court expenditures about which the colony administration reminded. The court also found it impossible to exact any money from the family, because professor hasn’t worked for more than six years, being kept in jail.

The well-known human rights activist, vice-head of Belarusian Helsinki Committee Hary Pahaniayla said:

-- Not only the colony administration, but Belarusian authorities don’t want Bandazhewski to be released. The reasons the administration mentions, such as non-payment of court expenditures are invented reasons for non-releasing him. Normative acts don’t contain such reasons not to release persons from jail.

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