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Jailed Belarusian Presidential Candidate Hospitalized


Mikalay Statkevich at his trial in May

Mikalay Statkevich at his trial in May

MINSK -- Jailed Belarusian presidential candidate Mikalay Statkevich was sent to a prison hospital after sustaining injuries in a prison carpentry shop in eastern Belarus, RFE/RL's Belarus Service reports.

Statkevich's wife, Maryna Adamovich, told RFE/RL that officials at the labor camp in the town of Shklou refused her request to see her husband. She also said she had not received any letters from Statkevich for more than a month.

Adamovich said the labor camp administration did not inform her that Statkevich was injured and hospitalized. "I have learned about the accident from people who saw him in jail," she said.

It is not clear what kind of injuries Statkevich sustained. Adamovich said her sources told her that he seriously injured his hand.

The Shklou prison officials were unavailable to comment on the situation when RFE/RL called.

Statkevich was arrested on December 20, one day after some 15,000 people took part in antigovernment demonstrations to protest the announcement of incumbent President Alyaksandr Lukashenka's reelection.

The opposition said the vote was fraudulent and international election monitors said it was fraught with irregularities and was neither free nor fair.

Statkevich was sentenced on May 26 to six years in prison for "organizing mass disturbances" on December 19.

Hundreds of protesters were arrested at the demonstration and in the following days, including almost all opposition presidential candidates, some of whom have received jail sentences.

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