First meeting of political prisoner Syarhei Skrabets with his family

2006 2006-06-16T10:00:00+0300 1970-01-01T03:00:00+0300 en The Human Rights Center “Viasna” The Human Rights Center “Viasna”
The Human Rights Center “Viasna”

The family of Syarhei Skrabets - his mother Nina, wife Aliaksanda and daughter Natallia - made the first visit to the correction settlement where the political prisoner serves his 2.5-year sentence. They were allowed to spend 4 days in the small 5-room hostel of the reformatory Vitsba-3.

A correspondent of Radio Svaboda talked to Nina Skrabets, the mother of the political prisoner.
Certainly, its very depressing to see an unprotected man in prison clothes. Can you imagine what a mother should feel? That was very frightening, - Nina Skrabets says.

Nevertheless, the former deputy is recovering after indisposition. He even asked his family to bring him a football - sometimes he manages to play football, as the mother of Syarhei Skrabets says.
He is in rather a good mood. Hes not so skinny and weak, as he used to be during the trial, any more. He has stopped the hunger strike. Of course, Syarhei is very thin, his cheeks got hollow. But this thinness isnt morbid, isnt dreadful. Although its a pain to look at him, - the mother of the political prisoner says.

As Nina Skrabets added, her son had changed job - previously he was in charge of the reformatorys library, now he guides commissions. But Syarhei never complains on it.

He never complains. He says everything is fine - that theres plenty of fresh air there, much grass, although we didnt see anything of the kind. We werent allowed inside the prison - they gave us a room in the prison hostel. They let us in there, searched thoroughly. I couldnt help asking: Why are you searching me, an old woman, so carefully? And they answered: Mothers can be different. And we werent allowed to leave the hostel for 3 days, - Nina Skrabets says.

On Februrary 14, Syarhei Skrabets was sentenced to 2.5-year imprisonment. He was accused of extortion of credits from the State. The ex-deputy considers the sentence a revenge for his former oppositional political activity. Syarhei Skrabets is not the first former oppositional politician who appeared behind the bars - earlier sentences had already been passed to deputies Uladzimer Kudzinau, Mikalai Skutau and twice to Andrei Klimau.