Viasna presents analytical survey on political prisoners
On 21 October the Belarusian Popular Front office in Minsk hosted the presentation of a book ‘Political Prisoners: politically-motivated criminal sentences in 2008’, compiled with assistance by the Human Rights Center Viasna.
The edition covers the events of 2008, pertaining to the existence of political prisoners, which still attract much public attention. The book is meant to highlight the facts of numerous and continuous politically-motivated harassment, practiced by the Belarusian authorities despite demands by international democratic structures. Meanwhile, the release of all the Belarusian political prisoners remains one of the basic conditions within the EU-Belarus dialogue.
The cover of the book features Yulia Darashkevich’s famous photo depicting the collapse of a tower of Minsk Detention Center #1 in Valadarski Street. According to one of the authors of the edition Alena Laptsionak, the photo is so symbolic that they could not help placing it on the cover, since it symbolizes the inevitable collapse of the existing state system and a consequent end of the epoch of political prisoners in Belarus.
The edition features materials provided by numerous Belarusian journalists -- interviews and articles on the victims of politically-motivated criminal prosecution in 2008, including materials on the most famous case of 2008 (‘the trial of 14’).
The authors also mentioned the convicts in ‘the trial of 14’ who were forced to leave Belarus and may still face criminal prosecution in case they return.