Prison administration refuses to change Statkevich`s custody status to less restrictive

2012 2012-07-31T16:31:50+0300 1970-01-01T03:00:00+0300 en

The administration of Mahilyow Prison No. 4 has rejected Mikalay Statekevich’s appeal to change his custody status to less restrictive, Maryna Adamovich, the wife of the 55-year-old former presidential candidate, told BelaPAN on Tuesday, referring to a recent letter from her husband.

Mr. Statkevich wrote the letter after spending 10 days in a disciplinary cell, according to the woman.

He writes that he appealed to the prison administration to promise that it would never again ask him to apply for a presidential pardon, said Mrs. Adamovich. “Firstly, his stance is well known and it is firm. Secondly, the requests do not do good to him – every time he turns them down, he has to deal with problems with some handkerchiefs, his number tag or fellow inmates that are accompanied by penalties.”

But he also calls on everyone to show understanding toward opposition activists who have applied to Alyaksandr Lukashenka for clemency, said the woman.

“People are different -- and so are their circumstances and levels of responsibility,” Mr. Statkevich writes in his letter. “My responsibility is very high as I was a candidate. I do not criticize those who have applied for it [a presidential pardon] and ask others not to do this. I will be sincerely happy if they are released, but I personally don’t have the right to appeal for it.”

In May 2011, a district judge in Minsk sentenced Mikalay Statkevich to six years in a medium-security prison, finding him guilty of organizing "mass disorder" in connection with a post-election protest staged in the Belarusian capital city on December 19, 2010.

In a trial that took place in a prison in Shklow, Mahilyow region, on January 12, 2012, a judge found Mr. Statkevich guilty of violating prison rules and ordered him placed in a higher-security correctional institution in Mahilyow for three years.

The charge was brought against Mr. Statkevich because of his missing number tag and failure to mention handkerchiefs among his personal items.

While in the cell-type prison, Mr. Statkevich is allowed to have only one brief conjugal meeting a year and receive one food parcel weighing no more than two kilograms.

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