Mikalai Statkevich sticks to guns

The political prisoner who is serving his term in Mahiliou prison was asked to address a petition for pardon to Aliaksandr Lukashenka again.
According to his wife Maryna Adamovich, it was six months ago when the prison administration forced the ex-presidential candidate to ask for clemency. Then one of the prison officers pledged his honour that he would never put pressure on Statkevich again, but now the same person is trying to manipulate the politician. “Thus, the officer has not kept his own word,” the woman stressed.
It is interesting that they would be satisfied if Statkevich lodged a plea for mercy even without admitting his guilt, the wife said. “But Mikalai believes one shouldn’t address to the president who is deemed illegitimate and has no right to rule the country,” Maryna Adamovich noted. She fears that the prison administration may step up pressure on Statkevich or even organise provocative acts against him after he refused to file a petition.
At his press conference held on January 15 Aliaksandr Lukashenka answered the question touching the political prisoners: “Can they be released? Yes, they can. What are they to do for it? <…> They can go out. They serve their time and they will go free. You ask me if they can get out earlier? They can. Read the law, it says everything. You ask me if I can release them, again read the law. It says everything. You know it.” Beyond that, the President noted he does not regard Mikalai Statkevich as a potential rival.
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