Vitold Ashurak’s relatives collect his personal belongings, except for diary

The relatives of Vitold Ashurak have received back his personal belongings, except for the diary, which was kept by the deceased political prisoner.

This was reported by friends running a Facebook page in memory of Vitold:

“We took the last things of Vitold. First from the Hrodna prison, and then from Mahiliou – in the Investigative Committee. They took his clothes (including the clothes he had no time to wear in the Shklou prison), his watch that he liked a lot, two books (a Bible in the Belarusian language and an English textbook), personal things.

And hundreds of letters. Vitold kept them. Including those that were sent to him to Shklou from Hrodna, which, by all indications, he did not read.”

But among the items, there was no diary, which Vitold repeatedly wrote about and sometimes quoted in his letters. His brother, Andrey Ashurok, wrote a complaint, but there are virtually no other options for finding the diary.

Who was Vitold Ashurak

Vitold has been in politics for the past 10 years, and in that time he has been through a lot: there have been detentions, arrests, and fines. He is known for catching the authorities on pollution of the rivers Dzitva and Neman (the activist appealed to the prosecutor’s office with a demand to initiate a criminal case and find those responsible for the pollution of the rivers in summer 2019, when sewage was poured into them from the territory of Lida housing and utilities), fought against the construction of a second glasswool plant in Byarozauka (on April 26, 2020 he went to the single picket at the passing plant “Neman” with a poster “Glasswool – our Charnobyl”), he was one of the initiators of the installation of memorial signs in honor of Kastus Kalinouski’s rebels, held various actions in towns, participated in the march for the Freedom Day, the Kalinouski Rebels Memorial Action, and the netizens’ march against Decree No. 3. In 2016, he was registered as a candidate for the Dzyatlau constituency, and in 2019 he was nominated as a candidate for the House of Representatives of the National Assembly in the Neman constituency No. 56.

Vitold Ashurak is also known for his creative actions. For example, on November 7, 2017, the activist laid a wreath with skulls and the inscription “Burn in hell, hangman” at the Lenin monument in Byarozauka. He then explained to reporters that he did it to remind them of the millions of people who were killed by the Bolsheviks. In December 2019, Vitold Ashurak held a solitary picket in Lida against the integration of Belarus and Russia. Wearing a white-red-white flag over his shoulders, he held a banner that read “Belarus is not Russia.”

The death of Vitold Ashurak was reported as early as May 21, but the body was handed over only on May 25. At first, the cause of death was “cardiac arrest,” but his wife says that Vitold’s heart was healthy. The Investigative Committee published a video, which allegedly shows Vitold (no face in the video) falling and hitting his head in the cell of Shklou colony, then they bandage his head and leave him alone – he falls again and dies.

Vitold Ashurak’s letter from prison. Photo: @belsat readers

In one of his letters from prison, Vitold wrote: “Can strangers be friends? They can if they are Belarusians.”