Zmitser Bandarenka has been denied disabled status despite his severe spinal problems, the wife of the 48-year-old imprisoned opposition activist told journalists on March 6, 2012.
An «interagency commission of experts» examined Zmitser’s medical records at a meeting on March 2, 2012 and concluded that he did not have a disability, Volha Bandarenka said.
«According to the commission, its members had done a lot of work before the meeting,» she said. «In particular, they had reportedly phoned my husband’s former employers and Belarusian State University of Physical Culture, where he had studied, to find out whether he would be able to find a job after his release.»
Mrs. Bandarenka said that her husband would now be required to work as hard as other inmates in Mahiliou penal colony No. 15.
Zmitser Bandarenka, a coordinator of European Belarus civil campaign and Andrey Sannikau’s election agent, was arrested on December 19, 2010, right after the demonstration against election fraud and later sentenced to two years of imprisonment. Soon after the opposition activist’s arrest his chronic illnesses flared up. His wife informed that Bandarenka had asked for medical help in February, 2011. He had not received it until June 22nd. In July, 2011 the political prisoner underwent a spine operation in Minsk clinical hospital No.5
Zmitser Bandarenka made a petition for pardon addressed to president Alexander Lukashenka on February, 1, 2012. Shortly before the appeal he had been denied parole in spite of ill health.