Four years since Mikalai Statkevich was sentenced

2015 2015-05-26T15:10:33+0300 2015-05-26T15:10:33+0300 en The Human Rights Center “Viasna” The Human Rights Center “Viasna”
The Human Rights Center “Viasna”
Franz Thoennes

Franz Thoennes

On the occasion of the fourth anniversary of the conviction of Mikalai Statekevich, presidential candidate 2010 and sentenced to 6 years in prison on 26 May 2011, Franz Thoennes (Social Democratic Party), Vice-Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee in the German Bundestag and prisoner’s godparent of Mikalai Statkevich since 2011, stated:

„Since the beginning of May 2015, an alarming information from the Belarusian city Shklov is spreading among human rights activists in Belarus, Germany and Europe. In a secret meeting of the court, the former social democratic presidential candidate Mikalai Statkevich, who has been sentenced for six years of prison in 2011 and stayed in the colony of Shklov until recently, has been convicted to serve the rest of the time under tightened conditions and was taken back again to Mogilev. Numerous alleged violations against the internal regulation of the prison in Shklov were stated as the reason.

For me as prisoner’s godparent of Mikalai Statkevich, this news evoked big concerns. Because due to this judgement, Belarusian prisons and justice continue putting lots of pressure on prisoners convicted for political reasons. For recurred times the justice in this country expresses its disregard of human rights and Mikalai Statkevich’s right of having a fair lawsuit. The administrative bullying as well as ethical, psychic and physical abuses he was and will be exposed to have to stop. But unfortunately with this decision, unfounded and arbitrary jurisdiction will continue.

In the opinion of Germany and the European Union such behaviour is absolutely unacceptable and stridently condemned. The release of all political prisoners in Belarus, their rehabilitation and termination of political repressions is required to normalize relations between the European Community and the Republic of Belarus. Unfortunately the court decision of early May has taken down this idea. My thoughts are with Mikalai Statkevich, his wife and his family. I declare my solidarity with them.

In addition on the occasion of the fourth anniversary of his condemnatory sentence, I call to sign the initiated petition on to release all political prisoners in Belarus. President Lukashenka has to understand that the remaining six political prisoners are not forgotten.“

The Prisoner’s Godparenthood campaign for the political prisoners in Belarus was initiated by Libereco to support the prisoners and their relatives. Belarusian and international human rights organisations regard Mikalai Statkevich as a prisoner of conscience and are calling for his immediate and unconditional release.