Ales Bialiatski Deprived of Package and Meeting with Wife

August 12, 2012

Ales Bialiatski has again been banned from receiving food packages and having a short meeting with his wife, Natalya Pinchuk. She learned of this latest punishment for violating “rules of behavior for convicts,” which Ales allegedly broke, in a letter from Ales:

We were getting ready to go see Ales for a short meeting after August 15. Now this meeting will not take place because he sent us a postcard saying, ‘They just wrote up another report for taking food products out of the eating hall—I took my piece of bread from dinner out with me.’ For this he was deprived of the ability to receive his next food package and to have a short meeting. Counting previous punishments, he has been deprived of a long meeting in September and now a short meeting in August. It appears that pressure is being purposefully applied to him, and that his actions are being carefully watched and reported to the administration.”

Valentin Stefanovich, Ales Bialiatski’s deputy at the Viasna Human Rights Center, believes that the goal of this painstaking monitoring is to deprive Bialiatski of the possibility of early release:

First of all, they have assigned themselves the task of turning him into a habitual violator so that the amnesty law cannot be applied to him. If this were to happen, his term would be reduced by one year. Second of all, it might be the case that he is being pressured so that he will write a request for a pardon. We do know with certainty that political prisoners are subjected to this kind of pressure. And we also know that currently two political prisoners have written such requests. They are Syromolotov, who was convicted in the anarchist case, and Siarhei Kavalenka. Even though they wrote these requests long ago, the fate of these requests is still unknown…. Thus we can see that the situation with Bondarenko and Sannikov is being repeated. They wrote requests for pardons long before they were released. So it seems natural that this punishment is the result of the biased position that they administration at Bobruisk Penal Colony holds in regard to Ales Bialiatski.

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