Rhythm in Combination--
05 August 2005
Rn'R has used Yury Bandazhevsky's case on many AI information concert tables since 2002. A hugh thank you to all who stopped by our tables and signed his petition!
AI Index: EUR 49/009/2005 (Public)
News Service No: 222
12 August 2005
Belarus: Prisoner of Conscience Professor
Yury Bandazhevsky is free
"I would like to send a huge thank you to all
Amnesty International members across the world
whose support I could feel. The work of Amnesty
International is very useful."
--Yury Bandazhevsky, 10 August 2005
The eminent Belarusian academic, Professor Yury
Bandazhevsky, was conditionally released from
prison on 5 August, after serving four years of
an eight year sentence. Speaking to Amnesty
International, Yury Bandazhevsky said that he is
now spending his time getting used to his
freedom and looking into work possibilities. He
was released suddenly under a recent amnesty
declared by President Lukashenka on 5 May,
to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the end of World War II.
However, Amnesty International is concerned
that Yury Bandazhevsky will remain under the authorities'
control for the next five years, subjected to various
conditions which include having to report regularly to
the police, and being prohibited from assuming any
managerial or political functions. Amnesty
International will continue to campaign for the
conditions to be lifted.
On 18 June 2001, Professor Yury Bandazhevsky was
sentenced to eight years' imprisonment after
being convicted of taking bribes from students
seeking admission to the Gomel Medical Institute, where he
was a rector. He has always maintained his innocence.
Both domestic and international trial observers
believed the trial to be unfair and Amnesty International
was concerned that he did not have access to a lawyer
during his pre-trial detention. Amnesty International
adopted him as a Prisoner of Conscience,
believing that he was convicted on trumped up
charges because of his open criticism of the
authorities' response to the Chernobyl nuclear disaster.
Since 1999, Yury Bandazhevsky's case has
been taken up by numerous national and international
human rights organizations as well as by celebrities,
including the popular Russian rock band, Leningrad,
and the English rock band, The Cure.