Serious concern over the health of Belarusian political prisoner Dmitry Bondarenko


Worrying reports are coming through of a steady deterioration in the health of Dmitry Bondarenko, leader of the civic campaign “European Belarus” and authorized representative of Presidential candidate in 2010, Andrei Sannikov (who is also imprisoned).  

Mr Bondarenko, who was sentenced to 2 years imprisonment for taking part in a peaceful gathering on 19 December 2010, is being held in Colony No. 15 in the city of Mohylev.

On 14 March 2012 the Belarusian media published the results of a medical assessment carried out by a Ukrainian doctor, Andrei Rokhansky. On the basis of medical documents, Dr Rokhansky stated that the conditions which the colony administration has created for Dmitry Bondarenko fall under the category of torture and ill-treatment.

Dmitry Bondarenko is suffering from a stomach ulcer, spinal disk hernia and gout. During his imprisonment he has undergone two complex operations on the spine which require long-term rehabilitation, as well as on the leg, this being necessitated by the inadequate conditions and lack of proper rehabilitation.  On the basis of their medical analysis, the doctors have stated that Bondarenko must totally avoid lifting heavy weights, bending down or squatting down. He is not receiving the requisite medical assistance in the penal colony and could be faced with permanent invalid status.

A number of human rights groups have issued statements calling for Dmitry Bondarenko’s immediate release given his grave state of health,  We are convinced that the trial of Bondarenko is not in keeping with international standards for a fair trial, and the sentence passed was politically motivated. 

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