Letters from Mikalai Statkevich: Political prisoner keeping up
Maryna Adamovich, the ex-presidential candidate’s wife, had not received any letters from her husband for some weeks. But yesterday she got two at once. Taking into account his status of “flagrant violator of penitentiary regime” letters remains the only opportunity to communicate with Statkevich.
“Being in a maximum-security penal colony grants only one short-term visit which Mikalai’s father and I have already used. There were bars and double glass between us; a jailer was standing behind him but the most important thing is that I saw him. Besides, he is allowed to receive one telephone call in a month and a two-kilogram parcel in a year. That’s all I can do for him,” Maryna Adamovich said.
After apostolic Nuncio Gugerotti’s visit, Mikalai Statkevich repeatedly asked the colony administration for a meeting with an orthodox priest, but still in vain.
Punished for bread
“They tried to threaten me with another reprimand because I do not keep bread in a packet but make rusks of it. Bread is usually issued here in the morning, a piece for a day. This is off-quality black bread which is sure to fall short of accepted standards due to its hydration. I cut it with a knife and leave slices on the air to make them edible. Usually prisoners eat only its crusts,” Maryna Adamovich read an extract from the letter.
Meanwhile, the penal colony administration does not meet even basic requirements for prisoners’ detention. Half of Statkevich’s pension may be transferred to the colony’s account, its officials do not provide convicts with soap, toothpaste, shaving things, etc.
According to Maryna Adamovich, her husband stands ground and has not had a change of heart. He keeps rejecting offers to ask for pardon and takes things on the chin smiling at the situation in his letters.
Ex-presidential candidate, leader of the Belarusian Social-Democratic Party (Hramada), Mikalai Statkevich was adjudged guilty of mass riot organization on December, 19, 2010. On May 26, 2012 the court sentenced him to six-year imprisonment in a maximum security penal colony.