Dmitrii Bondarenko was kept in chains in a prison punishment cell.

An operation on the spine of the political prisoner will probably take place on Tuesday. But even prison doctors are against it.

On 22 July Olga Bondarenko, the spouse of the coordinator of the civil campaign “European Belarus”, was able to meet again with her husband in the detention centre of the Ministry of Internal Affairs (MAI).

During the meeting it was announced that on Monday 25 July Dmitrii Bondarenko would be moved from the Republican Prison Hospital to Hospital No. 5 in Minsk. The political prisoner, who has inflammation from slipped discs, pinched spinal nerves, paresis of one leg and faces the threat of immobility in the other, should undergo an operation on Tuesday.

We remind you that the administration of the MIA prison issued an ultimatum: that the political prisoner should either be sent to a prison camp, or go for an operation. He has been refused a consultation with a neurosurgeon.

“Yesterday I was with an independent surgeon and he said that, without proper recovery, it would be dangerous to carry out the operation. Today Dima said that on Monday he will be taken to the hospital, and on Tuesday they will operate. But all his physicians, including doctors from the prison hospital, are opposed to the operation, because he has physiological contra-indications and it would be dangerous to carry out the operation. There is a high risk of his becoming disabled,” said Olga Bondarenko to the site

According to the wife of the political prisoner, to carry out the post-operative recommendations practically – only lying down or only standing – would be impossible in prison. Rehabilitation should last no less than a month.

“At a meeting, a doctor told me that Dima will stay for four days in the hospital and two weeks in the prison hospital on Volodarskii Street. After the operation he will have severe pains and most likely he will be told: ‘If you don’t write a letter asking for forgiveness, then we won’t give you painkillers’,” Olga Bondarenko fears.

Today the horrifying details of Dmitrii Bondarenko’s situation in the KGB jail became known. We remind you that earlier, Bondarenko, whose health problems arose after numerous beatings by riot police at acts of protest by the opposition, reported that his condition had deteriorated significantly in the internal prison of the KGB, where he was held for the first six months of his arrest.

The political prisoner was forced to run with a mattress and two bags on the stairs during the repeated searches and he had to stand in a stretched out position for an hour or even two at a time; the political prisoner had no bed and he slept on floorboards on the cold floor. The cell had no toilet, and it was a real torture.

Today, Dmitrii Bondarenko has reported that in late January he was put in a punishment cell of the prison, and for the first few hours he was kept there in chains. He was put in the punishment cell after he asked a doctor for help because of stomach ulcers.