17th Day of Hunger Strike
Since May 29 a hunger strike of Young Front members continues in Belarus. The protest started in Salihorsk, then it was supported in many Belarusian towns. There were 45 protesters all together, but underage stopped the hunger strike, and later some persons had to stop the protest because of serious health problems. In Zhodzina Syarhei Hudzilin was taken to a hospital by an ambulance, Kanstantsin Usyanok has an ulcer... It is the 15th day of hunger strike for the leader of the Young Front Zmitser Dashkevich, and he is so weak that he cannot leave the apartment. However, he and nine more guys continue the hunger strike in a private apartment in Minsk. They demand to release political prisoners and to stop crackdown on the Young Front activists. The Charter97 press center offers a photo-report from the apartment where Belarusian patriots continue their protest.
Young activists stay in a usual two-room apartment. Inside the apartment there is only a wardrobe. Three are mattresses and bottles with water on the floor. First protesters were sleeping on the mattresses in the night, but now they have to lie there all the time, as they are very weak.
Their names are: V. Matskevich (Babrujsk), A. Paplyka (Mahilyou), A. Zarembiuk (Masty), I. Azarka (Nyasvizh), S. Dashkevich (Minsk), Z. Dashkevich (Minsk), I. Zavadskaya (Minsk), Y. Balonkina (Minsk), L. Tsitova (Minsk), A. Karnevich.
In the apartment there is a computer, but it is not connected to Internet still. The young people are reported about the news on the phone. They listen to the music, mostly Songs of Freedom and N.R.M.. They read the Bible and books on Belarusian history. Zmitser Dashkevich is interested in history. Iryna Zavadskaya reads about her favourite painter Salvador Dali& There is no TV set in the apartment. The kitchen is absolutely empty, there is no refrigerator there.
A microbus with a number 4389 MP has been staying near the entrance to the house today. People in mufti are sitting there. They videotape all persons who come to the house.
Every day the protesters get dozens of sms with words of support. Today mothers of well-known oppositionists, Yauhen Afnagel, Tatsyana Elavaya and Vyachaslau Siuchyk, have come to express their support to heroic young people. They have brought water.
The leader of the democratic forces Alyaksandr Milinkevich has visited the protesters today. He has brought water, medications, and said words of admiration over the courage of the activist. He asked the young people spare their strengths and health and finish the hunger strike.
However, Zmitser Dashkevich told to the Charter97 press center that the hunger strike continues&