Updated at 14:38,23-10-2020

Prison conditions toughened for ailing opposition politician Bandarenka


Imprisoned opposition politician Dzmitry Bandarenka has been prohibited from using a crutch and special footwear six months after complicated back surgery, wife Volha Bandarenka told BelaPAN.

The woman had a phone conversation with the husband on January 29.

Mr. Bandarenka, 48, also told the wife that the administration of Correctional Institution No. 15 in Mahilyow had prohibited him from lying in bed in the daytime and ordered him to do light work and join fellow inmates as they line up outdoors for morning and evening checks.

According to the woman, Mr. Bandarenka still has trouble walking, cannot turn sharply, lift weights and work while sitting.

Mrs. Bandarenka plans to travel to Mahilyow next week to deliver a parcel to the husband but fears that it may not be accepted by prison officers.

Mr. Bandarenka has not yet written an appeal to Alyaksandr Lukashenka for a presidential pardon but has asked for the woman's opinion about the possibility of such a step.

In April 2011, a district judge in Minsk sentenced Mr. Bandarenka, a campaign aide to candidate Andrey Sannikaw in the 2010 presidential race, to two years in a low-security prison, finding him guilty of organizing disturbances and participating in them in connection with a post-election protest staged in Minsk on December 19, 2010.

Mr. Bandarenka underwent back surgery in the National Prison Hospital in Minsk in July 2011 and was transferred back to the Mahilyow prison in late August.

Before the surgery Mr. Bandarenka's right leg was partially paralyzed and he was said to be in constant pain because of four herniated interverbral discs and three trapped spinal nerves.

In late December, the Supreme Court of Belarus rejected Mr. Bandarenka's appeal against his prison sentence.