On August 13 Belarusan political prisoner turned 58. He is celebrating his birthday in the Mahilieu prison, but people from all over Belarus congratulate him.
On the threshold of the festive event “EuroBelarus” Information Service talked with Maryna Adamovich, the wife of the political prisoner.
- Maryna, how will you congratulate your husband?
- Mikola is in prison, and the opportunities to congratulate him are limited. He is deprived of the possibility to receive parcels, so we’ll make something different.
- I know that any Belarusan can congratulate Mikola Statkevich on his birthday if he calls 166 and dictates the address of the Mahilieu prison. This is a nice way to morally support the prisoner. Who’s idea was it?
- I don’t even remember when this idea appeared; it was long time ago. I might have found it on Facebook and promoted it as much as possible.
- What were the last letters from your husband about?
- Lately problems with the letters appeared; throughout the last month every second letter was arrested and confiscated. So we have few opportunities to write each other…
But in the letters I receive, Mikola writes about developments in Ukraine, writes a lot about the Belarusan situation, about future elections and painful attempts to define the format of participation in them that the opposition makes.
Of course, he writes a lot of personal things.
- Is he recalling his state of health?
- He has never complained about his health, and I hope it is true. He is exercising actively, and dedicates a lot of time to it.
- Recently the authorities have decided to amnesty 1114 prisoners in Belarus. Is amnesty for Mikola Statkevich without his appeal possible?
- For Mikola it is impossible to be amnestied. The articles that are imputed to the political prisoners are excluded from the amnesty, so we don’t consider this variant.
However, they say that hope dies last, and I’m hoping for Mikola’s release all the time…
- Naturally, one can’t write much about censorship from behind bars. But do you know what’s the attitude of the prison authorities to your husband from some to her sources?
- I don’t know whether their attitude is humane, but I know well enough that they to a certain degree they follow the orders of their managers, and I can’t hope that if some evil orders come they won’t fulfill them…
- This year in March Mikola Statkevich managed to get a transfer to the solitary cell because of safety reasons. How often do prisoners are put in your husband’s cell to provoke him?
- This practice has always been used to exert pressure upon the prisoners, and not only political prisoners. A lot of different neighbors, who posed threat both to his health and to his life, were put into Mikola’s cell.
- I’m sorry, but he spent more than enough time in prison for his “extraordinary” accusation; so the question is why was he kept in prison for so long?
- You got married in the prison in December 2011. Not every woman would agree to be a prisoner’s wife and a six-year painful waiting. What helps you?
- In the given situation it was the only way to retain the possibility to help Mikola. As soon as the sentence entered into force, he fact that we were not legally married was used against us.
I think it’s a real way to help the dear and beloved person; and there were no other options for me.
I want to add that I am very thankful to all the people and organizations that support our men. It is of great importance for them to feel that people remember them! And it is very important for us as well.
And, finally, it is very important for those who keep political prisoners. Regardless of whether the men receive letters or not, prison guards see it, and it prevents the latter from realizing their ideas and plans to the full.
When a person has the support of the society, this information gets quickly spread among all prisoners and also makes the situation easier.
I will never forget when Mikola got to the Mahilieu prison and celebrated his birthday there. Our friends and companions saluted to him; they made a firework. And upon their leaving, they got really impressed: the whole prison was roaring “Long live Belarus!” As it is very important for the prisoners that people who suffer for Belarus are among them.
In May 2011 the court of Leninski district in Minsk sentenced the politician and a former presidential candidate to six years in prison for the organization of mass disorder on December 19. The condition in prison changed to more severe in January 2012.
Mikola Statkevich is the last one who was convicted for Ploshcha-2010 (“The Square-2010”), who remains behind bars. The political prisoner refused to write an appeal for amnesty on Aliaksandr Lukashenka’s name.