Authorities refuse to mitigate punishment to Zmitser Bandarenka

2011 2011-09-13T17:56:16+0300 1970-01-01T03:00:00+0300 en The Human Rights Center “Viasna” The Human Rights Center “Viasna”
The Human Rights Center “Viasna”

The political prisoner remains in prison, though he has the right to softer punishment. Zmitser Bandarenka, the coordinator of European Belarus civil campaign, has the right to apply for changing his punishment since 20 August due to serving one third of his sentence. The case of the political prisoner was considered by the commission for release on parole and change of punishment.

Before arrival of the commission in the penal colony, Volha Bandarenka, the wife of the European Belarus coordinator, received a letter from her husband, in which he asked to send a guarantee letter from a firm ready to employ him, a report from a police department and a certificate from employment centre. Volha Bandarenka prepared the necessary documents, but did not have time to send them. As it was found out, prison censors delayed his letter for a week. Bandarenka was denied softer punishment only due to formalities.

The political prisoner wrote in his latest letter to his wife: “I attended the commission sitting. It took some 30 seconds. I entered the room full of men in uniform. The chief of the quarantine department told me I was denied softer punishment because some details of my everyday life were not solved. He meant there were no documents from a police department and papers regarding my employment. What a brave man this captain Yury Shlychkou, the chief of the quarantine department! The colony chief also said he had not yet examined me, my personality. He asked if I had any questions. I did not have. Then the chief of the quarantine department said they needed six months to examine me. It means that the commission will gather on my case only in six months. As I understand, it was a psychological game with me. But you know, we don’t worry. Everything is in God’s hands. I think I can be released only with Andrei [Sannikau]. This is normal,” Volha Bandarenka quoted her husband’s letter.

Reference: Zmiter Bandarenka was sentenced to two years in prison for the events in Minsk on 19 December 2010. After a serious spinal surgery in prison he was not allowed to take a rehabilitation course and was transported to a penal colony on a stretcher. Bandarenka may become disabled for the rest of his life because he is denied access to medical care. He refuses to apply for a pardon to Lukashenka, who stays in power illegitimately.