Ales Bialiatski packing police shoulder straps

Bialiatski was put on to do such a job in Babruysk penal colony №2, he wrote to human rights defender Tatsiana Raviaka in his letter.

“Bialiatski works as a packer. The colony produces different goods: gloves, bedsheets, shoulder straps. Bialiatski also packs them. I wonder why it is the prisoners who were put to make police shoulder straps?” Tatsiana Raviaka said.

According to her, Ales Bialiatski does not complain of any health problems or conditions of confinement. “The letters from him are short tranquil sketches about life. For example, he interestingly tells about three beavers living in the territory of the colony,” the human rights defender mentioned.

The political prisoner cannot set aside some time for reading books: after working hours he is able only to look through newspapers, Tatsiana Raviaka said.

Ales Bialiatski was accused of large-scale tax evasion based on documents handed to the Belarusian prosecution by Polish and Lithuanian officials and sentenced to 4.5-year confinement in a high-security prison and confiscation of property. Moreover, Bialiatski had to pay 721 million rubles of the compensation for financial damage allegedly caused on the state, and 36 million rubles of the court expenditures (appr. $ 90,000 in total). Due to donations the necessary amount of money was raised, but this did not affect the situation.

Moreover, Pershamaiski District Court of Minsk granted the civil lawsuit of the Pershamaiski District Tax Inspection concerning the exaction of 140,000 rubles (appr. $17,000) of fine from Ales Bialiatski for the untimely payment of the sum of the taxes. The lawsuit was granted despite the fact that the sum which was paid by the human rights defender in January was indexed because of the inflation and increased more than two times.


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