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Serious concern over health of political prisoner

(ARTICLE 19/IFEX) - 12 April 2012 - We have received worrying reports of a steady deterioration in health of Dzmitry Bandarenka, leader of the civic campaign “European Belarus” and authorized representative of Presidential candidate in 2010, Andrei Sannikov.

Mr Bandarenka, 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 Bandarenka fall under the category of torture and ill-treatment.

Dzmitry Bandarenka 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 Bandarenka 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.

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