We need an ultimatum so that Lukashenka cannot deflect.
Today nothing is known about a number of Belarusian political prisoners: about Viktar Babaryka, Maryia Kalesnikava, Maksim Znak, Ihar Losik. Editor-in-Chief of Charter97.org Natallia Radzina said that the leader of the Belarusian opposition Mikalai Statkevich could have died in prison. She called on the regime to refute this information and arrange a meeting between the political prisoner and his wife.
In a commentary for Charter97.org, human rights activist and former political prisoner Leanid Sudalenka also stated that the lives of Belarusian political prisoners are in danger:
“If nothing is known about a person, then this means that he is in “prison’s prison”. This is either a punishment cell, a cell-type room, or a BUR [high-security barracks - Ed.]. Prisoners there are deprived of the opportunity to live with their squads or make phone calls. Everyone in the squad is allowed only four calls to loved ones.
If there is no news from a prisoner for a long time, like in Mikalai Statkevich’s case – for 9 months, it means that he is isolated in solitary confinement. God willing this is solitary confinement and not a punishment cell.
Prisoners have no bedding, mattress or pillow in the punishment cell. They have to sleep on bare boards. The heating in the punishment cell is very poor. When it’s frosty outside, the temperatures there are also low – people just freeze.
I was in a punishment cell in the summer. Then during the day, it was about 22 degrees, and at night, according to my feelings, about 10. I was shaking from the cold. I will add that warm clothes are taken away. For example, I had thermal underwear, but they did not allow me to take it with me. The cold is a real torture.
I repeat, if there is no news from political prisoners, then they are simply isolated, they are kept separately. Prisoners can be isolated for six months there, for a year, or even more. There they were recognized as “malicious violators of the regime who did not take the path of correction” by the prison authorities
We were together with Maksim Znak in prison. We could talk, but when he was locked up there, no one saw him after that. They said that after six months they brought him to trial, gave him another six months, and locked him up again. Phone calls are prohibited there and the lawyer will never reach you.
God willing us to see our heroes alive. I want to wait for my friend and colleague Ales Bialiatski, who is 60 years old. Many political prisoners are old people. They are suffering from chronic diseases, and if they do not receive the necessary medical care, they will simply die.
Today it is necessary to set such an ultimatum to the authorities so that official Minsk does not have a chance to deflect, but only to release all political prisoners.