Ales Bialiatski receives reprimands in prison

The human rights activist told about the pressure he faced in prison. Ales Bialiatski, imprisoned head of the Human Rights Center “Viasna”, wrote about it in a letter to human rights activist Valiantsin Stefanovich: 

“I already had a reprimand and an extra duty. I feel they won't be the last. In general, it turned out I am far from being a good inmate.” Ales Bialiatski's behavior cannot be considered good by the prison staff because he refuses to recognize his guilt, doesn't belong to amateur talent groups and has a reprimand.

Ales Bialiatski's meeting with his wife was reduced from 3 days to one. He is allowed to receive food parcels of 15 kg instead of the previous 30. The human rights activist was also forbidden to get extra 5 kg of fruit in summer.

Valiantin Stefanovich worries that prison authorities try to make a “malicious offender” from Ales ahead of adopting the law on amnesty, thus depriving him of an opportunity to be released. In this regard, human rights activists demand the administration of Babrusk penal colony # 2 to stop ungrounded pressure on Ales Bialiatski and remind that the Belarusian community, international organizations and politicians keep a close eye on the situation of the human rights defender.

It should be noted that most of political prisoners have disciplinary sanctions. Mikalai Autukhovich, Mikalai Statkevich and Yauhen Vaskovich were sentenced to stricter confinement conditions; Mikalai Dzyadok was moved to a cell-type facility for 6 months. These measures pursue the only aim to deprive political prisoners of the right to amnesty and early release.

News of Belarus

Tough sentences announced to Brest antifascists

A verdict was delivered today in the case of Brest antifascists acused of participation in a group fight with neonazis which happened on May 8, 2013.

Antifascists were tried under the art. 339.3 (malicious group hooliganism) and 147.2 (malicious bodily harm). The case was qualified as malicious due to the fact of pepper spray usage in the fight.

Dzmitry Stsyashenka got 5 years of penal colony with reinforced regime (339.3) and 500 euro of damages to be paid to the injured nazis.

Exclusive: European Union moves to suspend sanctions on Belarus

The European Union is likely to lift some sanctions on Belarus, including its travel ban on President Alexander Lukashenko, after he freed a group of political prisoners last month, diplomatic sources say.

An arms embargo against the former Soviet republic would remain. But in an overture to the man the West calls Europe's "last dictator", diplomats are looking at suspending visa bans and asset freezes on most of around 200 people under sanctions for rights abuses, some since disputed elections in 2004.