Updated at 11:50,16-10-2017

Medicines for political prisoner delayed: merely coincidence?

Belsat

On December 15, 2013 Mikalai Autukhovich's mother sent him a parcel with medicines her son needed. But on December 26 she received a letter saying that no medicines had been passed to him.

'A parcel from Vaukavysk to Hrodna is usually delivered withing two days. That is why I am very distressed about it: why was the parcel delayed? I have had no information yet whether he received it,' human rights centre Viasna refers to the woman's words.

In prison Mikalai Autukhovich's ilnesses relapse; moreover, he has got high blood sugar level. 'Nervous conditions, malnutrition have its adverse affect,' Lidziya Autukhovich adds.

But in spite of severe confinement conditions, Mikalai Autukhovich sticks to his guns. He continues learning Belarusian and English and actively carries on his correspondence, the mother says. 'Most letters come from Minsk but there are also some from Europe, the USA, Russia, Canada, People's support helps him to hold on'.

In his letters Mikalai Autukhovich takes a lively interest in current issues, e.g. imposing car tax, passing state budget for 2014, protest actions in Ukraine.

* * *

in May, 2010 the Supreme Court of Belarus sentenced the former entrepreneur from Vaukavysk to five years and two months of imprisonment in a medium security penal colony under the Criminal Code's Article 295, which penalizes the illegal handling of arms, ammunition and explosives, because of five hunting rifle cartridges found in his safe. Human rights defenders note that the sentence might well have been awarded in retaliation for Mikalai Autukhovich’s fighting against public corruption in the region.