The number of political prisoners in Belarus has reached 178: another nine persons have been added to the list.
On January 11, Belarusian human rights defenders issued a joint statement on the back of criminal charges brought against Svyataslau Herasimuk, Yan Falkin, Alyaksei Melnikau under Art. 293 of the Criminal Code (organising mass riots), as well as against Volha Paulava, Alyaksandr Gedzhadze (a citizen of Russia), Alyaksandr Rayentau, Viktoryia Mirontsava, Anastasiya Mirontsava, Mikalai Shametau under Art. 342 (preparing group actions that grossly violate breach public order).
They assessed the persecution of the citizens mentioned above as politically motivated, as it is solely connected with the exercise of their freedom of peaceful assembly and expression, and recognised them as political prisoners.
The human rights activists call on the Belarusian authorities to immediately release political prisoners, drop the charges they are facing, and end political repression against the country’s citizens.
The statement was signed by seven organisations – Human Rights Centre Viasna, FORB Initiative, Belarusian Helsinki Committee, Belarusian Association of Journalists, Legal Initiative, Centre for Legal Transformation ‘Lawtrend’, PEN Belarus.
Belsat TV contribotors Katsyaryna Andreyeva and Darya Chultsova, as well as TUT.BY journalist Katsyaryna Barysevich, are also among Belarusian political prisoners. It is an open secret that messages from outside give enourmous support and encouragement to a prisoner; that is why we urge our readers to send letters to the jailed journalists:
Кацярына Андрэева (Бахвалава): 222160 Беларусь, г. Жодзіна, вул. Савецкая, д. 22а / Katsyaryna Andreyeva (Bakhvalava): Savetskaya Street 22a, Zhodzina, 222160 Belarus
Дарʼя Чульцова: 222160 Беларусь, г. Жодзіна, вул. Савецкая, д. 22а / Darya Chultsova: Savetskaya Street 22a, Zhodzina, 222160 Belarus
Кацярына Барысевіч: Беларусь, 220030 г. Менск, вул. Валадарскага, д. 2. СІЗА № 1 / Katsyaryna Barysevich: Detention facility Nr 1, Valadarski Street 2, Minsk, 220030 Belarus
Don’t forget to enclose an empty envelope so that the girls could respond to your letter. Thank you for your unindifference!
Belsat.eu, following spring96.org