Book by Ales Bialiatski appears in print
"Enlightened by Belarusianness"
("Asvechanyia Belaruschunai") is a digest of literary
articles and essays by Ales Bialiatski. He started the work over this
book back in 2011, when he was still free, and continued the work
after the arrest, in the prisons of Babruisk, Minsk and
Book also features four texts which were written by Ales Bialiatski behind bars including "The feat of Khviados Shynkler" about a little known writer of 1920-ies who perished during World War II and the review on "Stremka", a book of poetry by his friend, Siarzhuk Sys. Ales Bialiatski introduces the term "Belarusian prison literature" for the first time in the modern literary studies of Belarus. He writes reviews for the books of poetry by Uladzimir Niakliayeu and Alisandr Fiaduta which had been also written in prison.
"Ales sent the texts in his letters – No. 1, No.2 and so on. We collected them here, at large, and then sent back to Ales for proof-reading. For some unknown reasons, he didn't get the essays about the books by Sys and Niakliayeu. May be this is due to the fact that together with them I sent some ballpoint stems, which he asked, as he needed to write much," said a composer of the book Palina Stsepanenka.
There are almost 500 pages in the book. It was composed according to his scheme.
"On 6 February I received a letter from Ales, he writes that the publication of a book was a cultural shock for him, as he has never even dreamed that there would be such a book, he thought that everything would be done in a much more modest manner. He thanks all who have worked on this book. The cover was drawn by a well-known graphic artist Uladzimir Vishneuski. Ales writes that he didn't hope that it would be with Vishneuski, in a hard cover and on such paper. He also writes that he dedicated much time to public activism and suffered from the fact that he didn't establish himself as a literary critic. He intended to date the publication of the book to his 50th birthday, as a certain sum up," says Palina Stsepanenka.
Before this, two books by Ales Bialiatski were published, "Literature and Nation" (1991) and a book of essays, "Jogging on Geneva Lakeside" (2006).
The head of the Human Rights Center "Viasna" Ales Bialiatski was sentenced to 4.5 years of imprisonment in November 2011 on charges in a large-scale tax evasion. The human rights defender didn't take the blame and stated that all means which were accumulated on his account were spent on human rights activities.
The reason for the criminal persecution of Ales Bialiatski was the information about his bank accounts, passed to the Belarusian law-enforcement agencies by Lithuania and Poland.
EU countries, the US and international human rights organizations
consider Bialiatski to be a political prisoner and demand his
immediate and unconditional release.