During seven months in the colony Bialiatski received seven penalties
12:53, — Politics
50-year old Belarusian human rights activist Ales Bialiatski was penalized seven times in the seven months that he spent in the penal colony number 2 in Babruisk.
His colleague a human rights activist Valiantsin Stefanovich informed BelaPAN about that.
Recently Stefanovich received three letters from Bialiatski. “In one of them he is saying that the information in the media that he was put in a penal cell had all the grounds to be true. The thing is that he received another penalty for allegedly sleeping not in due time. In fact Bialiatski was meditating. On 19 September Bialiatski was taken to a medical department for a medical examination – first sign that they were going to put him in a penal cell. This is a necessary procedure to check whether a person would stand the conditions of a penal cell”, - Stefanovich said.
But the second step – putting Bialitski in a lock-up – didn’t follow. “Ales himself believes that at the moment the colony’s administration received the information about the visit of the nuncio Claudia Gugerotti, which took place on 25 September and urgently revoked its decision”,- Stefanovich said.
“Bialiatski is also saying that in the colony he celebrated not only his 50-years anniversary, but another small anniversary as well – a quarter of the term of imprisonment, considering that the term started at the moment of detention – 4 August 2011”, he said.
The human rights defender noted that in the colony Bialiatski still has a status of a malicious violator of the regime; he has limited meetings with relatives and the number of allowed parcels. “Thus he was, in fact, isolated from the outside world”, - Stefanovich believes.
Ales Bialiatski was put to trial in November 2011. The human rights activist was found guilty of alleged tax evasion and sentenced to four and a half years in a high security prison with confiscation of property. The ground for the prosecution of the human rights defender was the existence of his foreign banking accounts in Lithuania and Poland. The court didn’t consider the fact that the money received on these accounts was used for the activities of the human rights center Viasna, which was closed in Belarus. The court also didn’t take into account that the damage allegedly caused by Bialiatski was completely paid off by voluntary donations of citizens.
Bialiatski’s arrest caused broad international resonance. The Belarusian human rights activist is recognized as a prisoner of conscience.