Belarus: Serious concern over health of political prisoner Dzmitry Bandarenka

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12 Apr 2012


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We have received worrying reports of a steady deterioration in health of Dzmitry Bandarenka, leader of the civic campaign “European Belarus” and authorized representative of Presidential candidate in 2010, Andrei Sannikov.

Mr Bandarenka, who was sentenced to 2 years imprisonment for taking part in a peaceful gathering on 19 December 2010, is being held in Colony No. 15 in the city of Mohylev.

On 14 March 2012 the Belarusian media published the results of a medical assessment carried out by a Ukrainian doctor, Andrei Rokhansky. On the basis of medical documents, Dr Rokhansky stated that the conditions which the colony administration has created for Dmitry Bandarenka fall under the category of torture and ill-treatment.

Dzmitry Bandarenka is suffering from a stomach ulcer, spinal disk hernia and gout. During his imprisonment he has undergone two complex operations on the spine which require long-term rehabilitation, as well as on the leg, this being necessitated by the inadequate conditions and lack of proper rehabilitation.  On the basis of their medical analysis, the doctors have stated that Bandarenka must totally avoid lifting heavy weights, bending down or squatting down. He is not receiving the requisite medical assistance in the penal colony and could be faced with permanent invalid status.

We express our vehement protest at the actions of the Belarusian authorities in refusing to provide prisoners with medical care and denying them access to lawyers.

Given Dzmitry Bandarenka’s very grave state of health, we urge the Belarusian authorities to release this political prisoner immediately.  We are convinced that the trial of Bandarenka is not in keeping with international standards for a fair trial, and the sentence passed was politically motivated.  We call on them to release all political prisoners and withdraw the charges against them.

Lev Ponomarev, For Human Rights

Irina Bogdanova, Free Belarus Now      

Natalia Koliada, Nikolai Khalezin,  Free Belarus Theatre               

Lilia Shibanova, NGO for Democratic Rights and Liberties "GOLOS"

Lars Bunger, Libereco - Partnership for Human Rights

Belarusian Tribunal,      

Abdujalil Boymatov, Human Rights Society of Uzbekistan          

Olga Sadovskaya,  Committee Against Torture 

Nadejda Atayeva,  Association for Human Rights in Central Asia             

Human Rights Defenders Against Torture

Halyna Coynash, Kharkiv Human Rights Group (KHPG)

Sukhrobjon Ismoilov, Expert Working Group

Natalia Shcherbata, Ukrainian Women Bar Association Bazhan

Kostiantyn Reutski,  Human Rights Center "Postup"

Eldar Zeynalov, Human Rights Center of Azerbaij

See previous statement for more information >