Human Rights Activists Remind Navumau about Political Prisoners
On 13 December a group of human rights activists consisting of the deputy chair of the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) Ales Bialiatski, the human rights activists Alena Laptsionak, Valiantsin Stefanovich and Siarzhuk Sys passed to the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Belarus (MIA) thousands of origami cranes which had been prepared by the international human rights organization Amnesty International for liberation of the political prisoner Zmitser Dashkevich.
The well-known human rights activist Ales Bialiatski personally handed a letter from Amnesty International and a large paper crane together with thousands of small ones to the duty policeman of the MIA with the demand to pass them to the minister Uladzimir Navumau. Bialiatski also reminded that political prisoners are still kept in the country’s prisons, though the authorities deny this disgraceful fact.
In spring 2007 Amnesty International started an international campaign on support of the political prisoner Zmitser Dashkevich. AI activists tried to send thousands origami cranes to the Belarusian minister of interior Uladzmir Navumau, demanding the release of the youth activist from prison. ‘There is a legend that if one makes one thousand of origami cranes, his/her dearest wish will come true. Today our wish is the restoration of freedom in Belarus and liberation of all who were convicted for free and peaceful expression of their views. We especially call the Belarusian authorities to release the youth activist Zmitser Dashkevich,’ runs the address of Amnesty International.
That’s why the corrective colony in Shklou still receives dozens of letters with origami cranes addressed to Zmitser Dashkevich. The local censors unfold the cranes and pass them to the prisoner as sheets of paper.
Bear in mind that a Young Front leader Zmitser Dashkevich was sentenced to 18 months of jail for ‘activities on behalf of unregistered organization’.