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

2023 2023-10-24T13:02:55+0300 2024-01-09T14:46:20+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.

Political prisoner and Viasna volunteer Andrei Chapiuk has been behind bars for 1100 days

Last September, Andrei was sentenced to 6 years in a penal colony. Chapiuk was charged under Part 1 of Article 13, part 2 of Article 293 (preparation for participation in mass riots), Part 2 of Article 285 (participation in a criminal organization), Part 1 of Article 130 (inciting other social hatred), Article 341 (desecration of buildings and damage to property; for graffiti directed against the European Games in 2019).

Later, the Supreme Court reduced his sentence by three months, i. e. to 5 years and 9 months of imprisonment. In March, Chapiuk was transferred to the Ivancevičy colony.

Marfa Rabkova has been behind bars for 37 months

Coordinator of Viasna volunteer service Marfa Rabkova was detained on September 17, 2020. Later, the human rights defender was accused under a number of articles of the Criminal Code for the events of 2016–2020 and sentenced to 15 years in prison.

Following the appeal, Marfa's sentence was reduced by three months. The verdict came into force and Rabkova was transferred to the Homel colony.

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, Ivatsevichy, Damanava, PO box 20,

Andrei Siarheyevich Chapiuk

Ales Bialiatski, Valiantsin Stefanovich, and Uladzimir Labkovich have been behind bars for 27 months

On July 14, 2021, they and other Viasna activists were searched. The human rights defenders were accused of "smuggling" and "financing group actions that grossly violate public order."

On March 3, judge Maryna Zapasnik sentenced Viasna activists to long terms: Uladzimir Labkovich to 7 years in a penal colony, Valiantsin Stefanovich to 9 years in a penal colony, Ales Bialiatski to 10 years in a penal colony. The human rights defenders have not admitted their guilt under any article that was imputed to them.

Valiantsin Stefanovich and Uladzimir Labkovich celebrated their birthdays behind bars

On October 14, Valiantsin Stefanovich turned 51; and on October 22, Uladzimir Labkovich turned 45.

Support them with letters and postcards of solidarity:

Penal colony No. 9, 213410, Horki, vul. Dabraliubava, 16,

Aliaksandr Viktaravich Bialiatski

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

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

The presentation of the book Ales Bialiatski at Harvard University gathered the full audience

It was brought there by the chair of the Belarusian Pen Tatsiana Niadbai, writes Euroradio.

In addition to the book and the life of Ales Bialiatski, the participants of the meeting discussed political prisoners, the state of Belarusian culture, human rights, the role of an individual during historical changes, as well as why Belarusian culture is so unbearable and annoying for the regime in Belarus.

Viasna political prisoners recalled at REVOLUTIONALE

The international conference on democracy and human rights REVOLUTIONALE took place in Leipzig, Germany, from October 9 to 13. There was also a FreeViasna stand at the conference.

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.

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