Siarhei Kavalenka released from jail

2012 2012-09-27T17:19:48+0300 1970-01-01T03:00:00+0300 en The Human Rights Center “Viasna” The Human Rights Center “Viasna”
The Human Rights Center “Viasna”
Siarhei Kavalenka. Photo by

Siarhei Kavalenka. Photo by

The political prisoner was made to apply for a pardon after blackmailing, pressure and threats.

Political prisoner Siarhei Kavalenka was released from a penal colony in Mahiliou in the evening of 26 September. Information about his release appeared this morning. Kavalenka was freed on the ground of an application for a presidential pardon.

Siarhei Kavalenka was talking to his family all night long. He is sleeping now. His wife Alena Kavalenka said in an interview with her husband called her in the evening from the central railway station in Mahiliou. Prison staff saw him off at the train station and Kavalenka got on the train to Vitsebsk.

His wife, son, relatives and plainclothes policemen and secret services agents met him at the train station in Vitsebsk.


“There were lots of them. They were watching us,” Alena Kavalenka said. According to the woman, SIarhei Kavalenka says anarchists Pavel Syramalotau, who also applied for a pardon, should be released from the Mahilou penal colony. “Pavel and Siarhei were moved to a separate cell just before the release,” Alena Kavalenka says.

Siarhei Kavalenka was forced to sign a pardon application by blackmailing, pressure and threats. “They demanded him to apply for pardon and confess. Syarhei said he couldn't betray his principles. They continued to press on him and blackmail with his little son. He was then thrown into a punishment cell with awful conditions. The window there was broken. It was very cold and Siarhei had to do physical exercises to get warm,” the wife of the political prisoner says.

Alena worries about her husband's health. “Syarhei weighted 45 kilograms after a 2-month hunger strike in prison. He recently began to put on weight. He weights twice as much now. It's abnormal. They probably added hormones in his meal and gave compound feed. Inmates of Belarusian prisons recently said about this practice. He should undergo a medical examination immediately.”

“We are being watched constantly. We don't know on what conditions Siarhei was released,” Alena Kavalenka said.

Siarhei Kavalenka, an activist of the Conservative Christian Party Belarusian Popular Front, was sentenced to 13 months in prison for violation of probation. He received a suspended sentence for hanging out a national white-red-white flag on Vitsebsk's Christmas Tree. He was on hunger strike since the middle of December to the end of March with a 20-day break. He lost 50 kg. He held another hunger strike from 8 to 25 May.

The possible reason for his release is that the European Union will consider an issue of imposing further sanctions on Lukashenka regime on 31 October. The dictator seems to again use political prisoners as bargaining chips releasing them one by one at the right time and refusing to free all political prisoners immediately and unconditionally.