In his letters of the New Year period Ales Bialiatski says that he “has been totally buried in an avalanche of letters and postcards when congratulations were added to the action of support”. Sometimes he received about 500 letters a day from Belarus and abroad.
“I am very grateful to the people who write to me!” answers Ales to the authors of the letters which cheered him up on these winter days in conditions that can be hardly called festive.
“We are still working – tearing sheet wadding, filling mattress covers with it – an order for soldiers. The nose is full of dust after such work, and one has to breath, with his mouth,” wrote Ales on one of the last December Saturdays, which was a working day. He added that he was glad that the post worked on this day as well.
“On the New Year holidays we had two days off. And on these days and the first half of 2 January I kept reading hundreds of letters and postcards… I can sincerely say that I haven’t missed any of them. I felt the waves of support and sympathy, the fluids of spiritual energy which emanated from them, with all my senses. It was an inexpressible New year… I start seriously thinking: how I can thank to the people who support me so sincerely and cordially…”.
Bear in mind that it is already the second time the head of the Human Rights Center “Viasna” and the vice-president of the International Federation for Human Rights Als Bialiatski has to meet the New Year holidays behind bars. Deprived of liberty for his human rights activities, in winter 2011-2012 Ales Bialiatski was kept in the Zhodzina prison, where he suffered a personal tragedy – on 24 December his badly ill father passed away, and he was not allowed to bid farewell to him before death.