opposition politician, sentenced to 14 years in prison
Date of birth: 12 August 1956
Date of detention: 31 May 2020
Part 1 of Art. 293 of the Criminal Code — Organization of riots
Sentence: 14 years
Penalty: imprisonment in a maximum security prison
Prison sentence start date: 20 June 2022
Judge: Mikalai Dolia
Prosecutor: Dzianis Mikushau
Prison: Penal colony No. 13
Godparent: Roger Nordmann, member of the Swiss National Council; earlier - Margarete Bause, member of the German Bundestag
Mikalai Statkevich is a veteran opposition politician and a former political prisoner. He was arrested on May 31, 2020, on his way to an election picket by presidential nominee Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya. He was later sentenced to 15 days of administrative detention. On June 15, 2020, he stood another trial and received another 15 days.
On June 30, Statkevich was to be released after 30 days in detention, but the night before, Statkevich's wife Maryna Adamovich received a phone call from an investigator saying that the politician was suspected of committing a crime under Part 1 of Article 342 of the Criminal Code (Organization of or participation in group actions grossly disrupting public order).
On December 15, Statkevich faced new charges of “plotting riots” (under Part 2-13 of Article 293 of the Criminal Code).
On December 14, 2021, Mikalai Statkevich was charged under Part 1 of Article 293 of the Criminal Code (Organization of mass riots) and sentenced to 14 years in a maximum-security penal colony.
On May 31, 2022, the Supreme Court began hearing the appeals of the six defendants in the Tsikhanouski case behind closed doors. The next day, the court ruled to uphold the sentences.
On June 20, 2022, Mikalai Statkevich was transferred from remand prison #3 in Homieĺ to penal colony #13 in Hlybokaje, Viciebsk region. It is known that the administration of the penal colony listed him as prone to extremism, and in July, he was deprived of a parcel and placed in a punishment cell for 8 days.
On August 5, 2022, Mikalai Statkevich was placed in solitary confinement for six months. In September he was again placed in a punishment cell.
On November 4, 2022, the Ministry of Internal Affairs included the political prisoner in the "List of persons involved in extremist activities".
According to human rights defenders, those involved in the Tsikhanouski case will have to pay 22 million Belarusian rubles in compensation—as stated in the court decision, "to pay employees of the Ministry of Internal Affairs for additional time on duty during the post-election protests".
It is known that in November 2022, the political prisoner fell ill with pneumonia and was hospitalized. In December and January, he was once again placed in a punishment cell.
In early March 2023, the political prisoner's wife Maryna Adamovich reported that she had not received letters from him for a month and that he was not allowed to see his lawyer. In total, from July 2022, Statkevich has undergone at least 21 penalties in the colony.