Belarus unites in a 12-hour online solidarity marathon with political prisoners
On Saturday, July 29th, independent Belarusian media will come together in a 12-hours all-Belarusian online solidarity marathon "We Care!" to raise funds for political prisoners and their families. Bloggers, politicians, prominent cultural and sports figures, and civil activists will join the live broadcast. Viasna is the media partner of the campaign.
The broadcast will be simultaneously aired on numerous independent YouTube channels from 10:00 AM to 10:00 PM Minsk time. The initiative was proposed by Volha Harbunova, a representative of the United Transitional Cabinet of Belarus, along with her team. Over 20 independent media outlets will participate in organizing and hosting the marathon, including Belsat TV, Euroradio, Zerkalo, Obichnoye Utro, Radio Svoboda, Radio UNET, Strana Dlya Zhizni, as well as the Belarusian Investigative Center, Brestskaya Gazeta, Malanka Media, Mediasona, Nasha Niva, Radio Ratsiya, Solidarity, BPN/Pozirk, Hrodna.life, Kyky.org, Nexta, Reform.by, Tribuna.com, and many others.
All donations will be collected into a single account, from which the raised funds will be distributed among foundations, initiatives, and organizations that provide assistance to political prisoners and their relatives. These include the Social Project INeedHelpBY, Media Project for assisting Belarusian female political prisoners "Palitvyazynka," the Anarchist Black Cross - Belarus, the Human Rights Initiative to aid political prisoners Dissidentby, the Fund for assisting Belarusians in Lithuania "Razam," the BY_help initiative, the Belarusian Association of Political Prisoners "DA VOLI," the Belarusian Council of Culture, the Medical Solidarity Fund of Belarus, the Belarusian Sports Solidarity Fund, the Fund for Belarusian Solidarity BYSOL, the Charitable Fund "Country for Life," and the Charitable Organization Littouwin LIONS CLUB. The distribution of collected funds will be monitored by a specially established oversight board, that will include representatives of the media organising the marathon.
The organisers calls on all viewers of the marathon in Belarus to prioritize their safety: refrain from sharing, liking, or commenting on the broadcast from personal accounts, and make donations only through the bank cards and accounts of friends and relatives living abroad.
"Every day, the number of political prisoners in Belarus increases, as does their isolation. By coming together with the idea of a united marathon, we aim to show that we care, and we will continue to do everything possible to support and assist until people imprisoned on political grounds" says Olga Harbunova. "I have experienced imprisonment myself, and I know what keeps one going there. The knowledge that people support you on the outside, that your loved ones receive help , and that people wait for you at home. I invite everyone to support the independent media marathon: spread the word to your loved ones or on social networks, watch the broadcast, and donate. It hurts us all, but as you know - helping others also makes it easier for you. Over the years, Belarusians have repeatedly demonstrated that in the most challenging times, we are capable of uniting. Because who, if not us, will help our political prisoners?"