Zmitser Bandarenka, a coordinator of European Belarus civil campaign and Andrey Sannikau’s election agent, made a petition for pardon addressed to Alexander Lukashenka on February, 1, 2012. Shortly before the appeal he had been denied parole in spite of ill health.
At the end of January confinement conditions in Mahiliou penal colony No.5 became more severe for Zmitser Bandarenka who informed his wife Volha of the change for the worse over the telephone.
The political prisoner who had undergone a spinal operation was forbidden to use a crutch. «Zmitser was not allowed to wear orthopedic shoes handed over to him and he should bend his body to put stiff prison boots on. As lying in the day-time is not permitted as well, he has to turn up at roll calls and walk in a line with other prisoners. He was appointed to do easy work», his wife says. According to Volha Bandarenka, she «has no idea» what way Zmitser will be walk in a line; even downstairs did he go with care.
The political prisoner had repeatedly turned away from the opportunity of making a petition for pardon addressed to Alexander Lukashenka but he asked his wife how she would react on such a step in their latest telephone conversation.
Zmitser Bandarenka was sentenced to two years of imprisonment in a minimum-security colony. Soon after the opposition activist’s arrest his chronic illnesses flared up. In July, 2011 he underwent a spine operation in Minsk city clinical hospital No.5
On January, 24, 2012 it became known that former presidential candidate Andrey Sannikau had lodged a petition for pardon as far back as November, 20, 2011. According to his wife Iryna Khalip, the politician was forced to do it by torture. But MIA officials state that Sannikau signed the document on January, 23, 2012 and it was surrendered to the presidential administration later on the same day.