Imprisoned human rights defender Ales Byalyatski turned 50 on September 25. He is serving a prison sentence of four and a half years at Correctional Institution No.2 in Babruysk, Mahiliou region.
Last week his colleague and friend Tatsiana Raviaka received a letter from the political prisoner. “It is philosophical, full of thoughts about life and challenges we are to overcome,” she said.
According to her, Bialialski does not provide much information about himself and his condition of confinement. He is known to have been packing goods produced in the colony.
“His jubilee is an exciting event which is spoilt by the fact that Ales will celebrate it without family and friends, not the way he would like to,” Tatsiana Raviaka said.
Journalist and human rights defender Siarzhuk Sys has been Bialiatski’s close friend for 33 years.
“For me Ales is like a brother, who I have never had. It is him who has always been my bosom friend. After being a best man at two my weddings he said: «Sys, do not marry once more because I could not stand it!»” he said.
Human rights defender Uladzimir Labkovich: “I am so glad to be his accomplice and counterpart. It is crucial that behind bars he should not worry about us knowing that we continue our working. He is not only “Viasna”head, but a friend of us. We are sure that he are going through with dignity and will return very soon,” he said.
Belsat TV congratulates the outstanding Belarusain and wishes to celebrate his next birthday in the family and friends’ circle.
In November, 2011 Head of Viasna human rights center was sentenced to 4.5-year confinement in a medium security penal colony and confiscation of property for alleged large-scale tax evasion.
The fact of Ales Bialiatski’s holding of bank accounts in Poland and Lithuania gave the grounds for criminal prosecution. The cash standing to the credit of accounts was used for human rights defence activity: the centre financially supported the people affected by Lukashenka’s regime. In court Bialiatski stated that he had no other possibility of getting financial aid from foreign backers. Opening accounts in Belarus turned out to be impossible since the Belarusian authorities repeatedly denied an official registration to Viasna human rights center.