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#FreeViasna: review of news on imprisoned human rights defenders of Viasna

2023 2023-09-11T18:37:43+0300 2023-09-11T18:40:12+0300 en The Human Rights Center “Viasna” The Human Rights Center “Viasna”
The Human Rights Center “Viasna”

We collected news on Viasna team members who are behind bars.

Natallia Pinchuk at the Nobel Peace Conference-2023

On August 31, Oslo hosted the Nobel Peace Conference 2023, which this year celebrates the achievements of human rights defenders, identifies the risks they face, and calls for action to support their work. Nobel Peace Prize laureates (Shirin Ebadi, Rigoberta Menchú Tum), young activists, as well as representatives of three 2022 laureates, including Ales Bialiatski's wife Natallia Pinchuk, gave speaches there.

Natallia Pinchuk at the Nobel Peace Conference-2023

Natalia told at the conference about her political prisoner husband Ales Bialiatski. She noted that in 2021 he knew that sooner or later he would be arrested again, but he felt morally obliged to do everything for the sake of the release of his fellow human rights defenders who were already imprisoned and to set an example to others.

After the arrest, I was allowed to see him only a year later. When we met there was glass between us.  Ales was very positive and optimistic, but he understood what he was facing. I don't know when we will see each other again. But he will not be broken morally, because he has a sense of mission. It helped Ales to withstand the previous imprisonment from Lukashenka 10 years ago and supports his spirit now that he has passed the age of 60 in prison. After all, since his youth, since the communist dictatorship, Ales Bialiatski has devoted his life to the struggle for fundamental human rights: the right to be free, the right to choose power, the right to be yourself."

Also at the Human Rights Heroes Nobel Peace Conference on August 31, 2023 the Sunflower Declaration was presented, which calls for the protection of human rights defenders in danger. 

The Sunflower Declaration is a call to action to protect human rights defenders at risk with specific recommendations to governments, multilateral organizations, businesses, cities, and universities. It was drafted together with the Nobel Peace Prize laureates 2022: Center for Civil Liberties, Memorial and Viasna (on behalf of Ales Bialiatski) and other human rights organisations. Natallia Pinchuk signed it.

An exhibition dedicated to Ales Bialiatski has opened in Berlin

The project tells about the life of a human rights defender, his long-term efforts to develop and strengthen civil society in Belarus, develop national culture, and protect human rights.

At the grand opening of the exhibition on September 7, the book "Ales Bialiatski: A Journey of Impact" was presented, and the premiere of the documentary "Bialacki" from Malanka Media with a speech by the director took place.

The exhibition is taking place at the Pilecki Institute, Pariser Platz 4A, 10117 Berlin. Dates of the exhibition: from September 7 to 21. The working hours of the Pilecki Institute: Tuesday-Sunday from 10 to 18, Monday is a day off. Free entry.

Recently, there has been no news about political prisoners, human rights defenders Uladzimir Labkovich and Valiantsin Stefanovich.

Support the imprisoned Viasna team members with letters and postcards of solidarity:

Penal colony No. 9, 213410, Horki, vul. Dabraliubava 16, to
Aliaksandr Viktaravich Bialiatski

Penal colony No. 15, 213105, Mahileu, Veina, Slauharadskaja shasha 183, to
Valiantsin Kanstantsinavich Stefanovich

Penal colony No. 17, 213004, Shklou, vul. 1-ja Zavodskaja 8, to
Uladzimir Mikalayevich Labkovich

Laima Andrikienė, a member of the European Court of Auditors and a former deputy of the Lithuanian Seimas, wrote on her Twitter account about human rights activist and former political prisoner Leanid Sudalenka:

"How nice it is to see Leanid Sudalenka free!!! I don't know if he received the postcards and letters I sent him when he was in prison, but it's much more important to see him free."

The #FreeViasna campaign invites you to a solidarity event in Vilnius on September 17

The #FreeViasna campaign of solidarity with political prisoners and human rights defenders celebrates its two-year anniversary on September 17, 2023. Therefore, a corresponding event will be held in Vilnius on this day.

During the event on Sunday, September 17, it will be possible to learn more about the #FreeViasna campaign, participate in a public conversation with Leanid Sudalenka, and send solidarity cards to political prisoners and human rights defenders who were sentenced to long terms for their peaceful legitimate activities.

We invite you to the Belarusian House in Vilnius: Vilnius g. 20., on September 17 (Sunday) at 4 p.m.

Recently, there was no news about the volunteer Andrei Chapiuk and Marfa Rabkova

Send letters or postcards of solidarity to Marfa and Andrei:

Penal colony No. 4. 246035, Homel, vul. Antoshkina 3,
Maryia Aliaksandrauna Rabkova 

Penal colony No. 22. 225295, Brest region, Ivatsevichi, station Damanava, PO Box 20 to
Andrei Siarheyevich Chapiuk

How else to support Viasna team?

1. Letters of solidarity are the strongest support from outside. You can send your letters via regular mail, as well as through electronic services:

You can also send telegrams at the post office or by phone number 166 (only from the landline) and dictate the text. Do not forget to leave your name in the text of the telegram.

2. An equally significant support is the dissemination of information. We urge you to tell your relatives, friends, colleagues, and directly on social media about the Viasna team and other political prisoners. Be sure to use the hashtag #FreeViasna. 

3. Sign the petition for the release of the Viasna team members and all political prisoners of Belarus!

4. Support Viasna on Patreon or with a one-time donation.

More news about Viasna team on the website

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