Ales Bialiatski: Belarusian authorities use Soviet punitive methods

2015 2015-07-06T13:02:14+0300 2015-07-06T13:02:14+0300 en
Human rights activist Ales Bialiatski. Photo by Siarhei Hryts

Human rights activist Ales Bialiatski. Photo by Siarhei Hryts

Six political prisoners remain behind bars in Belarus, including an ex-presidential candidate in the 2010 elections, Mikalai Statkevich. A number of democratic structures united around the initiative of nominating Mr. Statkevich as a candidate in the current presidential elections. This should be a manifestation of solidarity and draw public attention to the problem of political prisoners, who are still pressurized. Recently, Mikalai Dziadok's lawyer wasn't allowed to visit his client, ho is serving his prison term in penal colony No. 9 in Horki. In March, Mikalai was to have been released after serving 4.5 years in prison. Instead, he was sentenced to another year in a penal colony.

Human rights activist and former political prisoner Ales Bialiatski says:

“This was done meanly, just three days before his release. He got another year. These are absolutely Soviet methods. The authorities did so with the Soviet dissidents. When a week was left till the release of Mikhail Kukabaka, he was sentenced to three more years. Now we are having a post-Soviet system, that's why a person gets a year, not three years, but it can last indefinitely.

Let us remind that initially Mr. Dziadok was sentenced to 4.5 years in prison for alleged hooliganism towards official buildings and was to have been released on March 3, 2015.