Tougher conditions created for political prisoner Zmitser Bandarenka

2012 2012-01-30T16:42:49+0300 1970-01-01T03:00:00+0300 en The Human Rights Center “Viasna” The Human Rights Center “Viasna”
The Human Rights Center “Viasna”

On Monday new terms of confinement for Zmitser Bandarenka are introduced in the Mahiliou colony, as the coordinator of the civic campaign European Belarus told his wife on 29 January in a telephone conversation.

The colony administration restricts the confinement conditions for the political prisoner right after his treatment. Starting from 30 January:

- Zmitser cannot use neither a crutch nor a walking-stick;
- He cannot use the orthopedic shoes that his wife bought him;
- Lying down is not allowed during the daytime;
- During walks Zmitser must walk with other prisoners;
- Moreover, he is assigned “easier jobs”, which can have a wide interpretation.

”Recently I’ve received a letter from Zmitser where he writes that his vessels are getting better, but reflexes in his leg are getting worse. I cannot imagine how he can be walking, sitting all day long. It’s hard for him to sit down; it causes pains in the lower back. How he will be limping during walks with others is hard to imagine, too. And how will he be standing outside when it is freezing cold? Cold is devastating for the spinal cord and joints.

Zmitser has not received any reprimands so far. Nevertheless he was not granted a parole. But for the moment he is not capable of fulfilling all these new requirements, which means that he will be receiving reprimands on a regular basis. And that means that he is pushed to the path that Sannikov, Dashkevich and Statkevich have already walked – punishment ward, cell-like premises, prison.

I saw what was going on, the scenario was obvious. So I was ready for this. I’m not surprised. But I cannot imagine how Zmitser in his present health condition can survive all of that and will fulfill the new requirements. I saw him falling at home stumbling over something… I am amazed at his ability to survive all this time and to stay cheerful. Knowing my husband as well as I do, I am still amazed.

Had I been convinced that it would help, I’d tell him to write an appeal for pardon. But in the light of the recent events I can see that it would not lead to anything. I know that just like Andrei Sannikau he made it through KGB tortures and did not sign the appeal, but I don’t know what they have on their minds now,” said Volha Bandarenka.

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