Happy birthday, Marfa!
Today Marfa Rabkova, coordinator of Viasna's network of volunteers, turns 27. This is her second birthday in a row, which Marfa has to spend behind bars.
Agnieszka Brugger, German MP for the Alliance 90/The Greens parliamentary group and Marfa's godparent as part of Libereco's solidarity campaign #WeStandBYyou, congratulated the political prisoner by sending her birthday greetings:
"On your birthday I would like to warmly congratulate you and express my continued solidarity with you. I am saddened and angry to know you in prison and that you cannot spend your day with loved ones. Today and every day, much strength, persistence and health is what I wish for you.
Your courageous striving for freedom, free elections and democracy are an example and motivation for many people beyond borders. It is our all duty to continuously stand up against Lukashenko’s regime of state violence, corruption and disregarding human rights.
I will continue demanding for your immediate release from prison and I will not stop drawing attention to your situation and your courageous effort for democracy in Belarus.
For your next birthday, I sincerely hope that you will be able to spend it in freedom.
I wish you all the best,
Nasta Loika, a human rights activist of Human Constanta, published an open letter with words of support for Marfa:
“Letter to Azkaban, January 6, 2022
We are so used to communicating through the text, but this year I would very much like to have the opportunity to congratulate you on your birthday live or at least with my voice - I feel like there's so much I want to say.
You and I have always dreamed of a better, freer society, we have argued a lot about where to start or what to pay attention to, but this desire has always been common to us. I would very much like this dream and aspiration to never fade - even in spite of all the trials that were sent to us.
You have had to go through a lot of them in the last year and a half. Both the dementors and the walls of the old castle take away your strength, but I believe in your inner light and ability to endure it all. I wish good memories to come in the most difficult moments. And so that no one intercepts the owls)
If Dobby managed to become a free elf, so can we one day.
See you in court and more,
The Norwegian Helsinki Committee honored Marfa Rabkova’s second birthday in prison by saying that it is "testament to the repressive system of Aliaksandr Lukashenka’s Belarus, that people who legitimately document human rights violations – particularly those committed by the authorities – are routinely prosecuted, imprisoned and denied access to basic services."
NHC is particularly alarmed that since being detained, Rabkova has been "denied proper medical treatment for a number of illnesses, and her application to attend her father’s funeral was dismissed."
The Norwegian Helsinki Committee once again condemned the treatment of Marfa Rabkova and demanded her immediate release.
Earlier, several other international human rights organizations called on the Belarusian authorities to release Viasna's youth coordinator, including Amnesty International, Front Line Defenders, and the Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders.
Marfa Rabkova was arrested together with her husband Vadzim Zharomski on September 17, 2020. In November 2021, Marfa learned that that she would be tried under eleven articles of the Criminal Code, and was facing up to 20 years in prison.
Support Marfa by writing to her:
SIZO-1, 220030, Minsk, vulica Valadarskaha 2
Marfa Rabkova (Марыі Аляксандраўне Рабковай)