Mikalai Statkevich reports limited access to information
Political prisoner Mikalai Statkevich, the only candidate in the presidential election of 2010 still held in prison, has sent a letter to journalist Barys Vyrvich, which he received on 13 February. The letter was written by Mikalai Statkevich on 7 February.
The political prisoner described the conditions of his detention in the Shklou colony. Mikalai Statkevich says that he faces limited access to information from outside. As a result of problems with conscription, since mid-January he has not received any newspapers, exception for the Novy Chas weekly. Besides, not all issues were delivered, some came with a delay of almost a week. “Another source of information is the only TV set that is allowed to watch in the morning and in the evening. However, I am too humble to deprive my colleagues of the opportunity to watch DVD discs or listen to music... so that I could listen to the news. After all, they have so few joys there. But I follow the key events,” says the political prisoner.
“They would not let me work here – they say I may get injured. All the time in the unit and under constant surveillance. I go out only to the dining room and to clean the snow (also supervised). Have to deal a lot with the snow, and in the rest of the time they do not let me rest. As I understand it, they take into account my passport age and mental state after three years in prison. But after the cell, throwing snow in the fresh air is great fun. And no one will wait for me to leave the shovel and made it possible to do everything that they need, “according to the law”. Will have to do as before. In short, so far everything is going according to the algorithm of 2011. But I have already seen that and therefore it does not impress me,” writes he.
According to Barys Vyrvich, the letter suggests that Statkevich is in good psychological mood, despite increased control by the prison administration.
Mikalai Statkevich also expressed hope that his “colleagues in the opposition” will unite somehow around the idea of his nomination as a single candidate. In particular, Statkevich writes, “I hope that the initiative group will be the only one. It is for this sake that I agreed to this plan, as simple PR is not interesting to me. And my situation will not improve because of this. But I will suffer for the sake of unity. Moreover, I have enough forces to endure all. Despite the passport age.”