#FreeViasna: Weekly news digest on Viasna’s imprisoned human rights defenders

2021 2021-12-27T16:19:31+0300 2021-12-27T18:34:43+0300 en https://spring96.org/files/images/sources/poster_freeviasna.jpg The Human Rights Center “Viasna” The Human Rights Center “Viasna”
The Human Rights Center “Viasna”

On September 17, #FreeViasna campaign of solidarity with the imprisoned "Viasna" members was launched. Here’s the latest news about them.

On December 20, on the International Human Solidarity Day, during the training "International Humanitarian Law", the participants joined the campaign of Human Rights House Foundation to write cards to political prisoners in Belarus who are currently in captivity.

Ukrainian human rights defenders supported their imprisoned colleagues from Belarus

According to Human Rights House Crimea, on December 20, on the International Human Solidarity Day, during the training "International Humanitarian Law", the participants joined the campaign of Human Rights House Foundation to write cards to political prisoners in Belarus who are currently in captivity.

“Viasna” chairman Ales Bialiatski sent a letter from behind bars, in which he wrote that he was preparing for the New Year celebration, reading Belarusian poems, and watching biathlon competitions on TV:

“It’s winter now, and the weather is a bit depressing in our land, so we need to take care of our health and mood, look for any sources for optimism and natural beauty. Anyway, the winter isn’t too long: as we say here, it’s just 12 prison showers until the spring comes. I am already preparing for the New Year. I’ve ordered at the prison store waffles, condensed milk and butter to make a cake on the New Year’s eve.”

“Viansa” deputy chair Valiantsin Stefanovich wrote a letter from the prison hospital, saying that he was feeling much better after three weeks in the hospital and waiting for the spring to come:

“The most precious things we have are life and freedom, freedom in life and life in freedom. One begins to especially value those after loosing the freedom. Yes, you continue living, but without freedom life isn’t full. Sp appreciate what you have.”

“Viasna” lawyer Uladzimir Labkovich wrote from behind the bars:

“Nothing is happening here. I’ve been reading much less, because I have headaches every day and my eyesight have deteriorated, as well as my memory. Therefore, the main things I’m reading are poems.”

“Viasna” Volunteer Service coordinator Marfa Rabkova finished her familiarization with her criminal case materials on December 23. The case will be sent to court soon. Marfa is charged under 11 articles of the Criminal Code and faces up to 20 years in prison.

“Vasna” has also learned that a few weeks ago a woman with a mental illness was transferred to Marfa’s cell. This creates a tense atmosphere in the cell and round-the-clock psychological pressure for all prisoners.

On January 14, the Homieĺ District Court will consider an appeal against the verdict in a criminal case against the head of the “Viasna” office in Homieĺ Leanid Sudalenka and his assistants Tatsiana Lasitsa and Maryia Tarasenka. The process will be held behind closed doors. The appeal will be considered by judge Mikalai Maratayeu.

Over the past week, there was no news from “Viasna” volunteer Andrei Chapiuk.

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