Human rights activists urge members of intergovernmental organizations to visit Mikalai Statkevich
On April 17, the Legal Transformation Center and the Human Rights Center "Viasna" passed an urgent appeal to Mrs. Maira Mora, head of the European Union’s mission in Belarus, in connection with an increased pressure against political prisoner Mikalai Statkevich.
Earlier, on April 8, the two NGOs sent to the Department of Corrections and the administration of penal colony No. 17 a similar appeal demanding to put an end to the ongoing harassment, to cancel the illegal penalties imposed upon the prisoner, to allow representatives of the European Union and the UN to visit Mr. Statkevich in order to examine his detention conditions and harassment reports. A week later it became known that Mikalai Statkevich was going to stand trial, as a result of which he is expected to be transferred from the penal colony to prison.
In view of these circumstances, the human rights activists stress the need for urgent action on the part of the European Union and the UN, urging them to:
- pay an urgent visit to the prisoner in order to evaluate the conditions of imprisonment and verify the facts of pressure mentioned above;
- ensure that an EU representative and an UN representative were allowed to be present at the court hearing against Mikalai Statkevich and to monitor the court proceedings personally.
A former presidential candidate, Mikalai Statkevich was sentenced to 6 years imprisonment on charges of organizing riots on the election day, 19 December 2010. Mikalai Statkevich pleaded not guilty. Amnesty International said Statkevich was a prisoner of conscience.
Source: Legal Transformation Center