More than 100,000 people have joined a global campaign of solidarity with imprisoned human rights defender Ales Bialiatski, Amnesty International reports. There are 36 countries on the map of solidarity.
The participants of the three-month campaign expressed their support in many ways. For example, people in Japan and South Korea made thousands of lanterns. In Luxembourg these water-proof lanterns featuring the images of the individuals including Ales Bialiatski went on a cruise down the river in the centre of the city. Pupils of Togo wrote a letter to the Belarusian human rights defender, while activists in Paraguay organized a bicycle race: his participants signed a petition demanding Bialiatski’s release. Slovenians put on street banners telling the stories of political prisoners while the activists of Finland held an action in their support. Neighbouring Poland took an imaginative approach to the initiative: a number of creative events were organised.
During Amnesty International’s letter writing marathon, Ales Bialiatski has been receiving up to 500 solidarity letters a day from individuals from across the world. “I have been covered with an avalanche of letters and postcards, congratulations as well as the solidarity actions…I am very grateful to all the people who write to me!… … in each of [the letters] you can see the national character of those who sent them. But what they all have in common – is sympathy,” he said.
The Marathon of Solidarity was run in Austria, Belgium, the Bermudas, Bulgaria, Canada, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Finland, Ghana, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Luxembourg, Mali, Malta, Moldova, Mongolia, Paraguay, Poland, Portugal, Puerto-Rico, Romania, Russia, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Korea, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Togo, Tunisia, Ukraine, Venezuela, the UK.