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Jailed Belarusian Opposition Leader Not Allowed To See Wife, Father

Jailed Belarusian opposition politician Mikola Statkevich
MINSK -- Jailed Belarusian presidential candidate Mikola Statkevich has been denied a visit by his wife and 84-year-old father, RFE/RL's Belarusian Service reports.

Statkevich's wife, Maryna Adamovich, told RFE/RL that she escorted Statkevich's father, Viktar Statkevich, from his hometown of Baranavichy to Minsk on June 1 as he is unable to travel alone.

"We obtained official permission to meet Mikola in the KGB detention center, but when I and Mikola's father went to the detention center this morning, we were asked to come back to see him this afternoon," she said. "When we returned to the detention center this afternoon they refused to let us see him and gave no explanation."

Adamovich said when she contacted another detention center in Minsk, on Volodarsky Street, she was unable to determine whether her husband was there or not.

Mikola 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 jail 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.

Read more in Belarusian here