The political prisoner’s hunger strike made the penal colony administration treat him a little better, he told the defence lawyer.
On September 19 Dashkevich was taken to Mazyr penal colony; two days later he went on hunger strike because of “outrageous behaviour of the penal colony administration, including penal colony warden Yury Zbarouski”. According to information presented by human rights organisation Platform, Dashkevich was repeatedly called on the carpet and abused: the colony officers threatened him with rape, murder or dementing.
In his opinion, the attitude has changed due to numerous voices raised for his defence, i.e. statements and adresses of human rights defenders, politicians, international community, all indifferent people, and also owing to heavy press coverage, Dashkevich’s fiancee Nasta Palazhanka stressed.
According to her, the political prisoner asked to express his gratitude to journalists having brought up the topic, human rights defenders and believers who prayed for him and wrote petitions, including Siarhei Tsvor, the bishop of the United Church of Christians of Evangelical Faith.
Zmitser Dashkevich seems ‘tired and exhausted” after hunger-striking, his defence lawyer said
One more case?
It has also become known that on October 4 Zmitser was transferred to a ward-type room for a month.
“It means that he is allowed to receive his correspondence, read newspapers despite not being in his unit,” Palazhanka explained. To her mind, however, putting a convict into a ward-type room for a month may show that a new case is being prepared against him (Art. 411, gross disobedience to orders of correctional institution administration) because usually a convict is taken there for a period from three to six months, Nasta Palazhanka said. On August 28, 2012 Dashkevich was sentenced for one year of imprisonment under that particular article, she reminded. “He is highly likely to be condemned once more,” Nasta said.
Zmitser Dashkevich and another activist of the Young Front Eduard Lobau were detained on December 18, 2010. Opposition activists and human rights defenders consider this detention as part of police preventive action performed before the 2010 presidential election. Dashkevich and Lobau were adjudged guilty of especially malignant hooliganism (Article 339, part 3 of the Criminal Code). On March 24, 2011 Zmitser Dashkevich was sentenced to two years of imprisonment in a general regime penal colony. In September, 2011 the activist was offered to file a petition for pardon addressed to Alexander Lukashenka but he rejected this proposal.
He was to go at liberty in December, 2012 but on August 28 Hlybokaye district court in camera acknowledged Dashkevich guilty of“gross disobedience to orders of correctional institution administration”. Four months which Dashkevich was to serve under the first sentence has been included in the new one. Thus, now Zmitser Dashkevich is expected to be released on August 28, 2012.