12 August 1956 |
Slutsk, Belorussian SSR, Soviet Union
|Other names||Mikola Statkevich|
|Known for||Political activism|
Statkevich graduated from a military engineering school in Minsk and served in the Soviet antiaircraft defense in the Arctic region.
In the early 1990s Statkevich was one of the leaders of the Belarusian Militarymen Association, a pro-independence union of Soviet officers from Belarus. In 1991 Statkevich has left the Communist Party of the USSR as a protest against a brutal Soviet military action against the democratic pro-independence opposition in the Lithuanian SSR.
In 1993 Statkevich was actively protesting against Belarus joining a collective defence treaty with Azerbaijan and Armenia that were at war at a time, in order to prevent Belarusian soldiers serving in military conflicts outside the country. For this Statkevich has been dismissed from the army shortly before the scheduled presentation of his Doctor of Science dissertation.
He then became one of the leaders of the Belarusian Social Democratic Party (People's Assembly), including the party's chairman since 1995.
In 2005 Statkevich was sentenced to three years of labour for organising mass protests against the 2004 referendum in Belarus that has lifted the constitutional limit on presidential terms and allowed president Aliaksandr Lukashenka to again participate in presidential elections. Amnesty International declared Mikola Statkevich a prisoner of conscience. He was then set free in 2007 following an amnesty.
In 2010 Mikola Statkevich was one of many democratic candidates at the presidential election. After the crackdown of the opposition demonstration he was arrested and put in prison. On 26 May 2011, he was sentenced to 6 years in a medium security penal colony. Amnesty International reported in July 2012 that Statkevich had been moved to a "punishment cell" after refusing to sign a confession.
- "Мікола Статкевіч: У 2011 годзе ў апазіцыі можа быць апошні шанец" (in Belarusian). nn.by. 23 February 2010. Retrieved 10 July 2012.
- "Мікола Статкевіч (біяграфія)" (in Belarusian). svaboda.org. 10 December 2012. Retrieved 10 July 2012.
- "Statkevich sentenced to 6, Uss to 5.5 years in prison". Charter 97. 26 May 2011. Retrieved 10 July 2012.
- "Belarusian prisoner faces punishment cell". Amnesty International. 9 July 2012. Retrieved 10 July 2012.