Updated at 16:11,02-12-2016

Imprisoned ex-presidential candidate Statkevich says that pressure on him continues

Imprisoned former presidential candidate Mikalay Statkevich has sent a letter to his associate, Pavel Sevyarynets, to say that authorities continue pressuring him into applying to Alyaksandr Lukashenka for a pardon.

Mr. Sevyarynets, co-chairman of the Belarusian Christian Democracy (BCD) party, who is serving a "restricted freedom" sentence in the open-type facility in the village of Kuplin, Brest region, received the letter dated November 14 only on November 22, said the BCD press office.

"I am fine, work at the [prisons] sawmill, read newspapers and books," writes Mr. Statkevich, who is serving a prison sentence in a correctional institution in Shklow, Mahilyow region. "It could be said that I have adapted to the place but for various vile things did to me on a regular basis by those who have been ordered to 'pull out' this pardon request from me. But a human adapts easily to the need to keep vigil and you also get accustomed to 'surprises'. By the way, in response to offers to make the request, I now answer along the following lines: "What will I do on the outside? Prices are now exorbitant there, while here I am given cereals and put to a bed. Besides, I dont need to travel to work, as my working place is within walking distance."

Mr. Statkevich asks to send his regards to another imprisoned opposition activist, Zmitser Dashkevich, and other associates.

"I hope that he, as well as you will soon be freed," he says.

According to the letter, Mr. Statkevich received only three out of five letters sent to him by Mr. Sevyarynets, and Mr. Sevyarynets never got one letter sent to him by his associate, said the press office.

Messrs. Statkevich and Sevyarynets were convicted earlier this year in connection with a post-election protest held in Minsk on December 2010.