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The world has not forgotten about Belarusian political prisoners: How the international community expresses solidarity on the Day of Political Prisoners

2023 2023-05-22T18:28:02+0300 2023-05-22T18:30:22+0300 en The Human Rights Center “Viasna” The Human Rights Center “Viasna”
The Human Rights Center “Viasna”

The human rights center Viasna has designated May 21 as the Day of Solidarity with Political Prisoners in Belarus. On this day two years ago, political prisoner Vitold Ashurak died in Škloŭ penal colony No. 17. Events commemorating the Day of Solidarity with Political Prisoners in Belarus have taken place in various countries and cities. The international community has been actively responsive to the event. Representatives from different countries worldwide continue to express solidarity and demand the release of Belarusian political prisoners.

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken has called for the release of all Belarusian political prisoners

On the eve of the Day of Solidarity with Political Prisoners in Belarus, we condemn the detention of over 1,500 prisoners held by the Lukashenka regime. We call for their immediate, unconditional release and support the Belarusian people’s pursuit of a democratic future.

Secretary Antony Blinken

Estonia's Foreign Minister Margus Tsahkna has written an open letter to Viktar Babarika

#Estonia supports the democratic aspirations of the Belarusian people & stands for the unconditional & immediate release of all political prisoners.

Margus Tsahkna


Poland's ambassador to Belarus, Artur Michalski, has expressed support for Belarusian political prisoners

In Belarus, there are over 1500 political prisoners. They are kept in unbearable conditions, losing their health and even their lives, and for many of them, there has been no information for a long time. Prisoners of conscience must be immediately released, without any conditions, and fully rehabilitated.

Artur Michalski

 The Polish Ministry of Foreign Affairs also called for releasing Belarusian political prisoners:

Almost 1,500 people are political prisoners in Belarus. On today's Political Prisoner's Day, we once again call on the authorities in Minsk to release all detainees, including A. Poczobut, and to stop further repression.

Ministry of Foreign Affairs

 The Lithuanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs has also shown support for Belarusian political prisoners

Today is the International Day of Solidarity with Political Prisoners in Belarus. While Lukashenko continues to persecute the brave people who stand up for democracy we should be increasing sanctions, not rewarding the tyrant for his tyranny. #StandWithBelarus

Gabrielius Landsbergis

 The Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs has expressed solidarity

Today marks the International Day of Solidarity with Political Prisoners in #Belarus. Denmark stands with the many individuals, who are held under politically-motivated charges only because of their peaceful demand for fundamental rights and democracy. #StandWithBelarus

Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Denmark

Over 100 Nobel Laureates join PEN International in support of Nobel Peace Prize winner Ales Bialiatski

On May 21, PEN International, the literary and free expression organisation, has released a letter signed by 103 Nobel Laureates, expressing solidarity with writer, human rights defender, Nobel Peace Prize winner, and PEN member Ales Bialiatski, and condemning the Belarusian authorities’ brutal, relentless, and systematic crackdown on independent voices.

“We stand with the multitude of writers, journalists, cultural workers, human rights defenders, and citizens of Belarus who are serving lengthy prison terms merely for peacefully expressing their views and speaking truth to power.

We stand with the fearless people of Belarus who continue to fight for their human rights.

In the words of Bialiatski – we, too, believe, because we know that spring always comes after winter.”

A Mass was held in the Vatican, organized by ambassadors


The Polish and Lithuanian embassies in the Vatican organized a Holy Mass to pray for freedom and express solidarity with political prisoners in Belarus.

Diplomatic corps representatives from various countries joined the reading of the names of political prisoners in Vilnius


Viasna invited representatives of the diplomatic corps of Norway, the United States of America, Lithuania, Ireland, Poland, the Netherlands, Finland, Sweden, the Czech Republic, and Estonia to join the action of reading the names of Belarusian political prisoners.

Reading of names and symbolic duffle bags: Actions in Vilnius on the Day of Political Prisoners in Belarus

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.

Human rights defenders around the world expressed solidarity


The Chernihiv House of Human Rights expressed solidarity with Belarusian political prisoners. Representatives of the human rights organization joined the action on the occasion of the Day of Political Prisoners in Belarus.


Screenshot from the video

Human rights defenders of the Houses of Human Rights network expressed solidarity by sending postcards to their imprisoned colleagues to show they were not forgotten.

Human Rights Watch supported Belarusian political prisoners.


The Norwegian Helsinki Committee also joined the support.

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