Leaders of the EU Member States: Call to release and rehabilitation of Statkevich and Dashkevich
The situation with democracy and human rights is going worse in
Belarus. Mass media and human rights defenders continually inform about
repressions, which are used by the regime against civic activists,
representatives of the opposition and independent journalists. The
situation with political prisoners, who are still in prison and other
institutions of confinement, is deteriorating as well.
Two prisoners of conscience, 2010 presidential candidate Mikola Statkevich and the leader of “Young Front” Zmitser Dashkevich, are in an especially dramatic situation.
Mikola Statkevich was imprisoned for 6 years for participation in a demonstration on 19 December 2010. He is a subject of repressions in prison. He was sent to a punishment cell several times. They tried to break his spirit by limiting contacts with his lawyer, relatives, as well as his correspondence. He was accused of „inability of resocialization in a prison” and was additionally convicted to three years of a stricter colony regime.
Zmitser Dashkevich was imprisoned for two years in a colony for
allegedly beating two men he accidentally met two days before the
presidential election. The authorities put unprecedented pressure on
him; he was tortured and humiliated, underwent several transfers under
guard. Almost the whole time of imprisonment he spent in a punishment
cell or indoors. At the end of August he was blamed for persistent
noncompliance with orders and was sentenced to an additional year of
imprisonment. He is discriminated on the grounds of religion, is
humiliated in the colony, threatened with use of physical force,
including sexual assault and murder, his right for meetings with family
is limited without justification.
The actions of the colony authorities show that Lukashenko seeks to annihilate his political rivals. We can’t allow it!
Therefore we call upon the leaders of the EU member states to take permanent actions in order to achieve the release and rehabilitation of Mikola Statkevich and Zmitser Dashkevich, as well as other Belarusian political prisoners and immediately appeal to Belarus’ government demanding to stop tortures and other forms of inhuman treatment of political prisoners and stop the prosecution of Mikola Statkevich and Zmitser Dashkevich.
We deeply believe that only consistent action and a common position of the EU member states can lead to the release of Belarusian political prisoners.