Maryna Adamovich: EU politicians have been repeating the same mistake for 20 years

2015 2015-04-15T15:04:36+0300 2015-04-15T15:04:36+0300 en
Maryna Adamovich

Maryna Adamovich

The Belarusian authorities increase pressure on political prisoners while holding a dialogue with the EU.

Maryna Adamovich, the wife of political prisoner Mikalai Statkevich, said yesterday that her husband would stand another trial. According to her, the administration of correctional facility No.17 in Shklou, where the former presidential candidate serves his term, says he “has not mended his ways" and <>"intends to continue criminal pursuits”, which makes “his further detention in this high moral institution impossible". The politician's wife talked to and noted that such developments were expected from Mikalai's first days in detention.

“It's obvious. We have always doubted that the law acting in penitentiary institutions will be observed in relation to Mikalai. It was clear from the very moment when he was transferred to the correctional facility. The tactic was biased, the pressure was maximum. The methods were far from being legal, to put it mildly,” she says.

– A new case will be opened against Mikalai. Meanwhile, EU Commissioner Johannes Hahn is going to visit Belarus.

– All understand it's the same mistake that EU officials have been repeating for 20 years. The authorities feel that trends have changed and begin to demonstrate their “firm” position. They say take us as we are, while we are treating our political opponents more and more cruelly, more and more infringing on civil rights and liberties. It is called 'we'll outlive you'. You in Europe change every 4-5 years, but we'll be in power forever, the authorities think.

They adhere to their demands and at least observe rituals. But a radical improvement of relations is impossible due to human rights in Belarus, which are grossly violated.

Mikalai Statkevich is held in a cell-type unit without daylight. He has the right to a 30-minute walk in the yard every day.

It became known in early April that the administration of the correctional facility increased pressure on the opposition politician. He was accused of violating prison rules eight times. The political prisoner was deprived of a short-term visit and a food parcel. Having spent three days in a punishment cell, he was transferred to the cell-type unit on April 3 for two months.

Mikalai Statkevich is the only presidential candidate of the 2010 elections who remains behind bars. In May 2011, he was sentenced to six years of imprisonment for organising mass disordered on the election day. International human rights organisations recognise Statkevich a political prisoner.

The politician initially served his sentence in correctional facility No.17 in Shklou, but confinement conditions were strengthened for him in January 2012. He was transferred to prison No.4 in Mahilou for three years. Statkevich returned to Shklou on January 12 this year. He received two warnings for violating prison rules during the first days after the transfer. The politician may face a new term of imprisonment.