Polish MEP calls for support of imprisoned opposition politician Bandarenka
Marek Migalski, a Polish member of the European Parliament, has called on the EP and Catherine Ashton, the European Union’s high representative for foreign affairs and security policy, to support opposition politician Dzmitry Bandarenka who is serving a prison term in connection with last December’s post-election protest in Minsk.
In a statement posted on his website, Mr. Migalski urges Ms. Ashton to call on the Belarusian authorities to provide access to adequate medical care for Mr. Bandarenka following his back surgery.
He asks fellow MEPs to send letters to Correctional Institution No. 15 in Mahilyow, where Mr. Bandarenka is imprisoned, to ensure that he undergoes proper rehabilitation.
Mr. Bandarenka’s health condition continues to deteriorate, and his legs can become partially or totally paralyzed, says Mr. Migalski.
He stresses that there is no doubt that Mr. Bandarenka has been put in prison on politically motivated grounds.
This past April, Mr. Migalski announced that he had taken on a prisoner’s godparenthood for Mr. Bandarenka. In late August, he proposed the Belarusian politician for the European Parliament’s 2011 Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought.
On April 27, a district judge in Minsk sentenced Mr. Bandarenka, a campaign aide to presidential candidate Andrey Sannikaw in last December`s presidential election, to two years in a low-security prison, finding him guilty of organizing disturbances and participating in them in connection with the street protest staged on December 19, 2010.
On July 26, Mr. Bandarenka underwent back surgery in Minsk City Clinical Hospital No. 5. He was transferred to the correctional facility in Mahilyow in late August to serve his sentence.
Days before the surgery, the European Belarus group with which Mr. Bandarenka is affiliated said that the man had been forced to give his written consent to the proposed treatment, which would hardly be followed by a proper rehabilitation course.
He was told that he had only two options: he would be either operated on or transferred to a prison to serve his sentence; a consultation with a non-staff neurologist was denied to him, the associates said. //BelaPAN