October 15, 2012
The imprisoned head of the Human Rights Center “Viasna” and vice-president of the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) Ales Bialiatski writes that he is still trying to answer all congratulations he has received on his 50th birthday. He counted about 700 by 4 October.
“They keep coming. I received a lot of postcards from abroad. Some Belarusians bethought too and send after,” Ales comments on his calculations and says that there are also original congratulations from children.
This is the congratulation picture sent to Ales Bialiatski by Mikita, the son of the documentalist Aleh Dashkevich.The human rights defender says that on 3 October he received at once 209 postcards and letters from the Ukraine, gathered and sent by the Ukrainian branch of “Amnesty International”. “I have read them until the dinner today. The difference between the characters of Ukrainians and Belarusians can be seen by these letters. Ukrainians seem to me more open and less circumspect”.
After this Ales draws many quotes from these letters and postcards.
“This is what Ukrainians write:– I support your struggle for the freedom of the Belarusian people. Never give up! – The truth will always win! Hold on, Ales, together we are many! – Ales! Go out ASAP, everybody is waiting for you! And happy birthday! – Happy birthday! Rebel! Love! All the best! – I wish You met Your following birthday together with us on Independence Square in Kyiv. Nothing is impossible. God bless You. – Ales! Greetings on the jubilee! Be your next jubilee in the family circle. Let all your enemies die. Your namesake. – Happy birthday! Hold the blow! – I wish freedom and liberty in the whole universe! – Dear Ales! As I’ve heard on Radio “Liberty” you have got caught for nothing. Hold on until the end. Shake your hand. – Dear Ales! You will win. Shevchenko said: “Fight – and you’ll win!” – Our friend Ales, scientists from Lviv support Your struggle! For our and your freedom! – I wish freedom to You and the whole Belarusian people! Anton. – Happy birthday, Ales! We are with You, don’t You get upset! A student. – Ales, keep it up! Happy birthday! – Hold on! Contra spem spero. – Happy birthday, Ales! Get out sooner. – Hold on man! You’re already 50. – Birthday greetings, Mister! Yura from Kyiv. Some of these greetings are somewhat funny, but all of them are very sincere. And some of them are very deep. I am very grateful to everyone for support. In my answer to “Amnesty International” office in Kyiv I answered that these 209 postcards lifted my mood and filled me with energy for as long as 209 days”.
Ales Bialiatski was also happy to receive congratulations from his friends and colleagues from the Paris FIDH office – “all of them put their signatures”.The political prisoner also got congratulations from the London office of “Amnesty International”, the Polish Helsinki Foundation, human rights defenders from Norway and Sweden, etc. On 4 October he also received 89 postcards and letters from Poland, from participants of the OSCE conference, from the Netherlands and Finland.