Administration of Baranavichy Special Commandant's Office Refuses to Give Mikola Statkievich Short Term Leave
The opposition politician has spent three months doing a "labor" sentence for organizing street demonstration in protest against falsification of the results of the elections and of the referendum in October 2004.
According to the legislation, if a sentenced person has not violated internal regulations and has had not admonitions, he should be allowed a three day leave of absence one month after the start of the punishment. But so far the politician has not been granted leave, having been twice denied a visit to Minsk.
Mikola Statkievich believes that the local police execute an order from above, not allowing him to have a leave of absence. He told Radio Liberty that the deputy head of the commandant's office reassured him that he would be forbidden to visit Minsk to the end of his punishment. Then Mikola Statkievich filed an applications, requesting he is allowed to have a leave within Baranavichy. Captain Aliaxandr Barkouski, of the Commandant's Office, said: "We do not decide such issues. Higher authorities make such decision. If the decision is positive, there will be no problem".
According to Mikola Statkievich, he is almost every day visisted by his associates or foreign journalists or diplomats. He believes that this will also influence the decision of the authorities.