Palazhanka: “The last time I saw Zmitser was last year in April”

Zmitser Dashkevich was transferred to the Mozyr colony on September 19. Mr. Dashkevich,  went on hunger strike last month in protest against what he described as abuse and threats on the part of prison officers.  Ms. Palazhanka, fiancée of the political prisoner, was told by Yury Zbarowski, chief of the prison administration, last week that Mr. Dashkevich wanted to cut his veins and was on hunger strike for no apparent reason and made false accusations against prison officers.
Another top prison officer warned Ms. Palazhanka that if she made public the opposition activist’s claims, it “will have an impact on him.” According to Ms. Palazhanka, the officer made the threat in the presence of Mr. Dashkevich’s lawyer.

Ms. Palazhanka has no contact with her fiancé. The authorities of the penal colony in Mozyr, do not recognize Nasta as a relative of the prisoner, and deny visitation. “The last time I saw Zmitser was last year in April, at the funeral of his mother”- says Ms. Palazhanka. She is also worried about the state of health of her fiancé:

“Is it normal? he is in jail, in the dark and cold cell. I cannot even imagine what is his health condition. During past year, I was not allowed to see him even once. I think that nothing good can be expected. “ – Ms. Palazhanka says.

The authorities of the penal colony deny journalists to answer questions about Zmitser Dashkievich.

Nasta Palazhanka has petitioned Prosecutor General Alyaksandr Kanyuk to investigate the reported mistreatment of the imprisoned opposition politician by the administration of the penal colony in Mazyr.

Mr. Dashkevich is expected to send his own complaint to the prosecutor general soon, the woman said.

The leader of an opposition youth group called Malady Front was arrested in Minsk on December 18, 2010, on the eve of a scheduled large-scale post-election demonstration, for allegedly beating up two passers-by. Speaking during his trial, Mr. Dashkevich said that the incident was a provocation orchestrated by authorities and accused the two alleged victims of giving false testimony.

On March 24, 2011, the activist was sentenced to two years in a minimum-security correctional institution on a charge of “especially malicious hooliganism.”

In September 2011, he refused an offer of freedom in exchange for asking Alyaksandr Lukashenka for a presidential pardon.

In a closed-door trial held last month in a prison in the Vitsyebsk region, Mr. Dashkevich was found guilty of persistent violation of prison rules under Part One of the Criminal Code’s Article 411 and sentenced to a one-year prison term. The remaining four months of the previously imposed prison term were included in the new term.







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