Political prisoner Mikalai Statkevich to be kept in prison for the rest of his term
The aim of the trial is toughening the prison regime for Mr. Statkevich by transferring him to a cell-type prison facility. The alleged reason for the trial are numerous violations of the internal regulations of the penal colony No. 17 in The Škloŭ by him and his refusal to obey the demands of the colony administration. In a letter to his wife Maryna Adamovich, he wrote that he has been placed in a cell-type facility.
2.40 p.m. The head of the Human Rights Center “Viasna” Ales Bialiatski, lawyer Pavel Sapelka, a representative of the EU in Belarus and journalists intended to get to the trial. However, an officer of the Škloŭ penal colony informed them that the trial was closed and asked them to move away from the building of the colony.
“Penitentiary justice is showing its best, whereas Austrian Foreign Minister is visiting Minsk, as well as German MPs, Social Democrates,” wrote Mr. Bialiatski in his FB account.
3.00 p.m. Maryna Adamovich was allowed to attend the trial on her written appeal.
7.50 p.m. As reported by human rights activist Barys Bukhel, Judge of Škloŭ District Court Sviatlana Barantsava found Mikalai Statkevich guilty of violating the internal regulations of Škloŭ colony No. 17 to send the prisoner to the cell-type prison facility for the rest of the term, 19.5 months.
*** According to Radio Liberty, on the eve of the trial Statkevich' lawyer studied the criminal case against his client, which consists of 5 volumes.
What is known about the evidence for the charges given to Mr. Statkevich?
"The case consists from the request about the replacement of a term in the penal colony to a prison term, and reports of the violations allegedly committed by him. The first report was written due to the fact that he had allegedly been dressed improperly when he had been taken to the colony, which allegedly resulted in a dispute. Then he was invited to drink tea, and he was five minutes late to bed, which was also registered as a violation, though it is clear that such situation was created deliberately.
All later violations are related to the fact that he was overload with clean-up work. According to the law, prisoners cannot do such work for more than 2 hours a week, whereas he was loaded for 42-45 hours. As it was found from conversations with other prisoners, it became clear that this was aimed specifically against Statkevich. He regarded it as a law violation and addressed the colony administration on this occasion, but was not heard. Then he refused to work. After this, the reports about refusing from work were being drawn up everyday. After they had some 5-6 of them, it became the reason to request his transfer to prison, i.e. they started punishing Statkevich without finding the reasons for his refusing to work. He was deprived from short-term and long-term meetings and food parcels, was repeatedly issued with reprimands. That's the scheme.”Mikalai Statkevich is a former presidential candidate who has been kept behind bars since the presidential election of 2010. The court found him guilty of organizing a mass riot and sentenced him to 6 years in prison. Mr. Statkevich pleads innocent and refuses to file a clemency petition for Lukashenka. He started serving his term in Škloŭ colony. On January 12, 2012 the prison regime was toughened and he was transferred to prison No. 4 in Mahiloŭ. On January 12, 2015 he was returned to Škloŭ colony No. 17 in order to continue serving his term.