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May 21 is the Day of the Political prisoner in Belarus: show your solidarity and join the action in your city

2023 2023-05-17T09:49:24+0300 2023-05-19T20:51:46+0300 en The Human Rights Center “Viasna” The Human Rights Center “Viasna”
The Human Rights Center “Viasna”

Viasna human rights center has designated May 21 as a Day of Solidarity with Political Prisoners in Belarus. On this day two years ago, political prisoner Vitold Ashurak died in the Škloŭ penal colony No. 17. Events for Belarus Political Prisoners’ Solidarity Day will take place in various countries and cities. We update the schedule regularly, so if you do not find your city, check later. Is your activity missing from the schedule?  Let us know about it on Telegram @Viasnainfo!


International events schedule (local time)

Last update: May 19, 8:00 PM (Minsk time)

May 19, Friday

  • Vilnius, Lithuania. 3:00 PM – 5:00 PM: Signing postcards and letters for political prisoners in Belarus. Location: CreateCulture Space, Karmelitų g.  5
  • San Francisco, USA. 7:00 PM: Signing postcards and letters to show solidarity with imprisoned Belarusians. You can find the time and location in the Facebook group.
  • Online event. 7 PM (GMT+3): Amnesty International invites you to discuss the situation of political prisoners in Belarus and learn how we can support those imprisoned. Speakers: Natallia Satsunkevich (Viasna human rights advocate) and Dziyana Pinchuk (Viasna journalist and activist). Registration is required.
  • Hamburg, Germany. 7:00–8:30 PM German actor Jan Uplegger will read Maxim Znak’s book “The Zecameron”. A panel discussion with historian Alexander Friedmann and human rights lawyer Liudmila Kazak will follow the reading. Location: Staats- und Universitätsbibliothek Hamburg, Von-Melle-Park 3.

May 20, Saturday

  • Warsaw, Poland. 6:30 PM: Vitold Ashurak commemorative gathering. Friends and relatives will share their memories of Vitold and his life principles. There will also be a musical part. Location: Belarusian House in Warsaw ( ul. Kryniczna 6).
  • Bremen, Germany. 10:00 AM – 1:00 PM: Belarusians in Bremen, Razam Bremen, and activists from Salidarnast will gather to create postcards and write letters to political prisoners on the eve of Political Prisoners Day. You can find the location in the Razam Facebook group or by sending an email to
  • Rome, Italy. 10:00 – 12:00 AM: Near the castle of St. Angelo (ROMA – LUNGOTEVERE CASTELLO – lato Largo Mutilati e invalidi di Guerra).
  • Detroit, USA. 2:00 PM: Michigan’s Belarusians will gather at  Bridgeport township for a barbecue and to write letters and sign cards to Belarusian political prisoners. More details on Facebook.
  • Vilnius, Lithuania. 5:00 PM: The Belarusian Council for Culture invites you to its Drawing Room (Šv. Ignoto g. 5, Vilnius). There will be a screening of films featuring the repressed artist Ales Pushkin as the main character.

May 21, Sunday

  • Vilnius, Lithuania. 11:00 AM: The Reading of the Names of the 1,500 Belarusian political prisoners will take place near the mural of Nobel Peace Prize laureate political prisoner Ales Bialiatski. The representatives of various embassies will attend the event. Address: Mindaugo g. 18.
  • Vilnius, Lithuania. 12:00 PM (noon): Action in support of political prisoners. Location: Cathedral Square (Katedros aikštė). “We urge you to become the voice of political prisoners by joining the action on Cathedral Square. Bring your posters and flags, hear the voices of prisoners and those who have been released, donate, or help their families. The symbol of this day is a yellow ‘extremist’ tag, with which political prisoners in colonies are labeled,” write the organizers.
  • Warsaw, Poland. 12:45 PM – 2:00 PM: Rally for Belarusian Political Prisoners’ Day. After the rally, there will be a demonstration from Constitution Square to Krakowskie Przedmieście where the program will continue. Location: Constitution Square (Plac Konstytucji) 6. 
  • Warsaw, Poland. 2:30 PM – 4:00 PM: Rally and chain of solidarity with those currently imprisoned for political reasons in Belarus. The event is organized by a group of former political prisoners, supported by the National Anti-Crisis Management, Museum of Free Belarus, Veterans of Kastuś Kalinoŭski Regiment, BY_POL Initiative, and the Association of Belarusian Businessmen ABBA. Location: Copernicus Square.
  • Warsaw, Poland. 5:00 – 7:00 PM: human rights defenders with Viasna and Polish Memorial supported the Solidarity Postcard Atelier and Palitviazynka initiative will organize a meeting to sign postcards for political prisoners. Location: “Pad zyrandolai” ( Hoża 41, lok 2). Follow the link for more details.
  • New York, USA. 1:00 PM: Belarusians of New York and surroundings will held a picnic in Central Park to support Belarusian political prisoners and commemorate Vitold Ashurak. The event is organized for like-minded individuals who care about the fate of our compatriots behind bars. In addition, the signing of solidarity letters and postcards is planned, with the support of the Solidarity Postcard Atelier. More details can be found on Instagram and on Facebook.
  • Białystok, Poland. 3:00 PM: Action on the occasion of the International Day of Political Prisoners and the anniversary of the death of Vitold Ashurak. Location: ul. Elektryczna, 9, near the consulate of the Republic of Belarus.
  • Kraków, Poland. 2:00 PM: Location: near the monument to Adam Mickiewicz at the marketplace. It’s time to show your solidarity with those who found themselves behind bars of the regime. Come to remember their stories together, learn how you can help, demand their release. Bring posters with you, and we will host an open mic for everyone willing [to share their thoughts],” the organizers write.
  • London, United Kingdom. 12:30 AM – 2:00 PM: “Join us for a demonstration in solidarity with political prisoners in Belarus. Until all political prisoners are free!” says the message from the organizers. Location: Parliament Square.
  • Poznan, Poland. 2:30 PM: Conversation with Darya Rubleuskaya, human rights activist and founder of the Solidarity Postcard Atelier. Writing letters and signing postcards to political prisoners in Belarus. Location: Fredry, 5, Klubokowiania MY. More details on Instagram.
  • Brussels, Belgium. 3:00 PM – 4:00 PM: Solidarity action. Location: Europakruispunt (Central Station).
  • Brussels, Belgium. 5:30 PM – 7:30 PM. Memorial holds an evening of letters to political prisoners in Belarus and Russia. Address: Rue de l'Epée 2, Bruxelles L'Ascenseur, Café associatif et radio.
  • Stuttgart, Germany. 2:00 PM. Place: Wilhelmsplatz. “We'll talk about the lost heart syndrome and how to keep your spirits up, hear the old favorites performed by BelaSol band and new ones by our guests from Minsk Znak Stop, and listen to a story from a lawyer who defended political prisoners”, the organizers write.
  • Batumi, Georgia. Come and write letters to political prisoners: from 12:00 PM (noon) to 7:00 PM in the national symbols store on May 26th Street, 41, and from 2:00 PM to 8:00 PM in the Belarusian Media Hub (67, Parnavaz Mepe Street).
  • Wroclaw, Poland. 5:00 PM, Market at the Fountain (location on maps). More details on Telegram.
  • Paris, France. 4:00 PM, Place de la Bastille. More details on Telegram.
  • Chicago, USA. 1:00 PM, Intersection of Michigan Ave & Washington St. Event page on Facebook.
  • Philadelphia, USA. 12:00 PM (noon), on the Philadelphia Museum of Art steps. Event page on Facebook.
  • The Hague, Netherlands. 12:00 PM: Laan van Meerdervoort.
  • Lublin, Poland. 6:00 PM: Monument to the Union of Lublin (Pomnik Unii Lubelskiej). “We invite you to participate in the performance “Cell”, where we will show the people of Lublin how crowded the cells in the infamous Akrestina detention facility in Minsk can be. The more participants, the stronger the effect will be. Please bring posters and dress in black. We advise you to bring face masks for safety reasons,” write the organizers.
  • Stockholm, Sweden. 1:00 PM, Sergels Torg, 111 24.
  • Kyiv, Ukraine. 3:00 PM, Sustrecha Belarusian-Ukrainian Hub. Address: Kyiv, Erevanska St, 30 (Єреванска 30), contact +38(095)223-07-63.
  • Odesa, Ukraine. 3:00 PM, Soborna Square (chess game area).
  • Lviv, Ukraine. 3:00 PM: Lviv Hub of Human Rights House. Address: Lviv, Volova str. 27-8.
  • Bratislava, Slovakia. 7:00 PM – 9:00 PM, a procession from Hodžovo námestie to the Embassy of Belarus.
  • Chicago, USA. 1 PM: rally in support of political prisoners in Belarus, Intersection of Michigan Ave. & Washington St., Chicago, IL 60602.
  • Munich, Germany. 3:00 PM, Odeonsplatz.
  • Szczecin, Poland. 6:00 PM, Zegar Słoneczny na Aleja Kwiatowa.
  • Torun, Poland. 4:00 PM, Copernicus Monument.
  • Gdansk, Poland. 1:00 PM, Neptune Fountain.
  • Lyon, France. 4:00 PM, Hotel de Ville, side of the fountain.
  • Bydgoszcz, Poland. 1:00 PM, Most Staromiejski.
  • Riga, Latvia. 12:00 PM (noon). Picket near the Freedom Monument (pie Brīvības pieminekļa).
  • Budva, Montenegro. 2:00 PM, Mogren fortress. Organizers ask to bring posters, flags, paints, brushes, and paper sheets of different sizes.
  • Tbilisi, Georgia. 5:00 PM, near Gymnasium No. 1 (location on maps).
  • Online event. Warsaw: 12:00 PM (noon), Minsk: 1:00 PM,  Tbilisi: 2:00 PM. Together with Viasna human rights defender Dziyana Pinchuk, RADA communication secretary Katsiaryna Bunina and member of the Belarusian Students' Association secretariat Darya Maniuk we will talk about the day of political prisoners in Belarus, jailed students and youth, including EHU students and graduates Marfa Rabkova, Sofia Sapega, and Akikhira Hayeuski-Kрanada. Streamers will also discuss the role of students in the struggle for human rights and hardship and draw historical allusions. In addition, we will discuss the difficulties political prisoners face on release and what we can do to help political prisoners.
  • Prague, Czechia, 2:00 PM –5:00 PM at Palackého náměsti: The action is organized by Bělaruské studentstvo ČR, a community of Belarusian students in the Czech Republic. The action will be attended by Belarusians in Prague and all those who want to express solidarity with the people of Belarus, support the Belarusian political prisoners, and speak out for respect for human rights. The program will consist of a rally and a performance to remind about human rights violations in Belarus and the need for international support of the Belarusian people and the Belarusian democratic movement.
  • Katowice, Poland. 2:30 PM: market, square near the theater.
  • San Diego, USA. 10:00 AM: Balboa Park by the fountain.

May 22, Monday

  • Odesa, Ukraine. 5:00 PM, Italian Boulevard, “Long Live Belarus” mural

Common Prayers

May 20

Boulogne-Bioncourt, France. 10:30 AM: "On the day of The Zhirovichi Icon of the Mother of God and on the eve of the Day of Political Prisoner, let us pray for the Fatherland and compatriots," the organizers write. Address: 132bis Rue du Point du Jour, 92100, Boulogne-Billancourt.

May 21

  • In Rome, Italy, a mass in support of Belarusian political prisoners will be held on May 21 at 11:00 AM.   Location: Via di San Sebastianello 11, Roma
  • In Vilnius, Lithuania, the Orthodox community of the Ecumenical Patriarchate will join the Day of Political Prisoners. Location: Bokšto g. 2, Vilnius. Time:

    •           8:40 AM – 9:50 AM: Mass and common prayer for releasing all unjustly condemned.
    •           9:50 AM – 10:05 AM: Prayer for all the unjustly convicted and imprisoned before the icon “Joy of All Who Sorrow”. Remembrance of the names of political prisoners of Belarus.
    •           10:00 AM – Symbolic lighting of the “Prayer candle for freedom”.
  • In Warsaw, Poland, there will be a Holy Mass for Vitold Ashurak on the anniversary of his death and for all political prisoners who have died. Place: St. Alexander’s Church on Three Crosses Square (lower church). The service will be led by the famous priest Viachaslau Barok. Time: 11:30 AM
  • In Florence, Italy, there will be a Mass for all political detainees. It will be led by Priest Yuryi Barok. Place and time: 1:00 AM – 2:00 AM. Chiesa Parrocchiale di San Luca al Vingone. Via Gaetano Pacchi, 3, 50018 Scandicci FI.
  • Antwerp, Belgium. 12:00 PM (noon) – 2:00 PM: Mess in the Belarusian Greek Catholic Church. Location: Lange Beeldekensstraat 22, 2060 Antwerpen.

Please let us know about activities in your cities on Telegram @Viasnainfo


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