October 10, 2012
The human rights defender Ales Bialiatski, who is currently in a penal colony, sent his colleague Valentin Stefanovich a letter on October 10.
“I wished Ales a happy 50th birthday, and now he has written me a short response,” Valentin Stefanovich explained to Narodnaya volya. “He joked that he also celebrated another anniversary—he has now served one-quarter of his sentence. He wrote that seven punishments have been handed down to him over the seven months he has been imprisoned, which means that now he has the status of ‘persistent violator of regulations.’ However, he has not yet been put in punitive confinement. It’s possible that the visit paid to Ales by a representative of the Pope had an effect.”
It was announced several days ago that Ales Bialiatski was included on the short list of candidates for the Sakharov Prize. Other candidates include the punk rock group Pussy Riot and two Iranians: the human rights defender Nasrin Sotoudeh, who was arrested in 2010 on charges of conspiracy to undermine Iran’s national security, and the director Jafar Panahi.
The recipient will be selected on October 26 at a meeting of representatives from political factions of the European Parliament.