Ten inspirational quotes from political prisoners

An online museum of letters from Belarusian political prisoners recently appeared in Belarus. Belsat read the exhibits and decided to publish lines from some of the letters.

The current list of political prisoners includes more than eight hundred people, and it is growing every week. However, it remains incomplete: the human rights activists who compile it check each case against the definition of “political prisoner.” They simply cannot keep up with the repressive machine. But many prisoners do not lose hope and faith in Belarusians. This is what they write.

Photo: PB / Belsat

Syarhei Bobyshau: “Can strangers be friends? They can if they are Belarusians!”

Mia Mitkevich: “I will survive everything, thanks to you and my faith! And I’ve already won because all of you are beside me!”

Uladzimir Mikhalko: “You can put a man in jail, but you can’t take away his faith and will.”

Ihar Losik: “It’s nice that so many Belarusians write and support. Only such unity, commitment and solidarity will help all the innocent go free and return to their families. Justice will prevail. So hang in there, too.”

Akihiro Hayeuski-Hanada: “I’ve met so many wonderful people that I would hardly have crossed paths with when I was free. So you have to find something useful that brings a challenge.”

Iryna Shchastnaya: “I also know for sure that it is unacceptable to please those who are just waiting for our suffering. So let’s keep our noses to the wind and enjoy each other: smart, strong, beautiful, kind, the most wonderful, in a word — Belarusians. The journey may be hard, exhausting and long, but the reward in the final is worth it.”

Eduard Palchys: “I often imagine the difficult conditions in which the Belarusians took their first steps towards the birth of their statehood more than 100 years ago. The World War I, the collapse of the empire, the Bolsheviks seizing power, famine, devastation, the Spanish war, refugees, the front line changing back and forth… And in all this hellish mess, the nation finds the strength to fight for its country despite the ruins and occupation. Dates like this [the letter was written before March 25. – Belsat] are good cheering up when something in today’s comfortable 21st century seems hard and difficult to you.”

Marfa Rabkova: “Although turmoil has descended on our land, I am sure that our dawn will be just around the corner. We do not choose the times, they choose us. All we have to do is to get through all the hardships and obstacles with dignity. And the main goal is to remain a human being”.

Pavel Sevyarynets: “It is freezing outside today (-20 C), but we can see the sun outside, so apparently, spring is really not so far away. God is doing his work. The main thing is that we do ours. And everything will be alright.”

Artsiom Isakau: “All I need now is the health and happiness of my relatives, but they’ll only be happy in one case…”

You can read all the letters here, and addresses to write to political prisoners can be found here.