Ales Bialiatski: 1000 Days in Prison
Ales Bialiatski, head of the Human Rights Center Viasna and vice president of FIDH, has spent 1000 days behind bars.
His wife, Natalya Pinchuk, mentioned it in an interview she gave to Gennady Barbarych, a correspondent for Radio Racyja. “This is quite a sad day. We also tried to guess how many days he’s been alive overall. It worked out to 18,800 days. So out of these 18,000 days, he has spent 1,000 days living under difficult conditions in prison”.
RR: Is there any news from Ales? What is his emotional and physical state?
Natalya Pinchuk: As far as any news from Ales himself is concerned, it can be quite hard to receive any specific information. He usually says that everything is fine. But this worries me greatly, because I understand that he doesn’t want to talk about it or upset me with the details of his life and health. And his health is really what worries me most, because the conditions there are very tough. He also works six days a week. I only receive information about his health from indirect sources. I know that right now he is in the hospital. He was admitted there because of poisoning. I was able to learn from documents I managed to obtain previously from the colony that he also has problems with his blood pressure, which he never used to have. This is clearly an illness he came down with during his time in prison. It was the same with Mikola Statkevich—he also never had problems with blood pressure before, but this year the media reported that he was in quite a serious situation because of his blood pressure. Naturally this is a cause for concern for me and the relatives of other political prisoners. We wonder what the state of their health is now and what it will be when they are released.
RR: I see you have a carton of cigarettes in your closet. Is that for Ales?
Natalya Pinchuk: As far as packages are concerned, he received the last one right after New Year’s. According to the rules and regulations, he can receive another one in four months. So I’m preparing another one, but there’s never any certainty that I will be able to deliver the package, because measures have been taken many times against Ales to limit his ability to receive packages from the outside.
Ales Bialiatski is serving a sentence in penal colony No. 2 in Bobruisk under a court verdict. On 24 November 2011, he was sentenced to four years and six months in prison for concealing income in an especially large amount.