Updated at 20:54,07-12-2016

Representative of Pope Benedict XVI visits political prisoners

Archbishop Claudio Gugerotti, representative of Pope Benedict XVI in Minsk visited Belarusian political prisoners.

According to Vatican Radio, meetings with the prisoners were held within the framework of bilateral diplomatic relations, "in deference to the universal moral authority of the Holy Father and humanitarian activities of the Holy See."

Archbishop Gugerotti visited Sergei Kovalenko, Pavel Syromolotov, Mikola Statkevich, Ales Bialiatski, Eduard Lobov, Dmitry Dashkevich and Pavel Sevyarynets.

Apostolic Nuncio met with each of the prisoners, learned of their condition and listen to what they deemed necessary to relate.

"He promised that the Holy Father and Catholics are praying for them and their families", Vatican Radio said.

Sergei Kovalenko was released after the meeting with Gugerotti.