Reading of names and symbolic duffle bags: Actions in Vilnius on the Day of Political Prisoners in Belarus Photo Audio
Two events were held in Vilnius on Solidarity Day with Belarusian political prisoners. Let's have a closer look at them.
The Reading of Names of Belarusian Political Prisoners took place near the mural of the political prisoner, Viasna chairman and Nobel laureate Ales Bialiatski, opposite the Belarusian consulate in Lithuania.
“Reading of names is a well-known action when people gather to read the names of victims of political repression,” explained Daria, a representative of the Viasna Human Rights Center and the activist of the #FreeViasna campaign. “We followed the tradition and held the same action.”
“1525 people are currently behind bars for political reasons. Along with them today behind bars are our colleagues, Viasna members, together with Ales Bialiatski, a Nobel Peace Prize laureate,” reminded human rights defender of Viasna Alena Masliukova.
“1525 — these are not just numbers. These are people's lifes. These are the lifes of those who are imprisoned, these are the lifes of their relatives and close ones, and these are the names of specific people. Each of them deserves to be mentioned here at this action,” emphasized Ms. Masliukova.
That is why Viasna invited representatives of the diplomatic corps of Norway, the United States, Lithuania, Ireland, Poland, the Netherlands, Finland, Sweden, the Czech Republic, and Estonia to join the reading of the names of Belarusian political prisoners.
Viasna human rights defenders also supported the reading of names.
Viasna human rights defender Natallia Satsunkevich.
Former political prisoners and representatives of families of political prisoners also joined the reading.
All 1525 names and surnames of Belarusian political prisoners were read out during the reading. It took almost an hour.
The complete reading can be found in the attached audio file below.
Public and Christian solidarity with those unjustly imprisoned and deprived of freedom in Belarusian prisons was also expressed by priests.
More photos from the event near the mural of Ales Bialiatski can be found on Flickr.
Meanwhile, 150 bags appeared in the Cathedral Square in Vilnius as a reminder of over 1500 Belarusian political prisoners.
Each bag bears the name of a political prisoner.
Prisoners commonly use duffle bags to carry their belongings into prison.
Former political prisoners came to support the action in Cathedral Square. Among them are Alena Dziadziulia, Aliaksandr Babko, and Volha Dubovik. Their T-shirts are labeled with the number of articles of the Criminal Code under which they were convicted.
The Viasna Human Rights Center has designated May 21 as the Day of Solidarity with Belarusian Political Prisoners. On this day two years ago, political prisoner Vitold Ashurak died in the Škloŭ Colony No. 17.