Conditions of detention

After his arrest in August 2011 and his sentencing to four and a half years of imprisonment in severe detention regime, Ales Bialiatski, President of HRC Viasna and Vice-President of FIDH, was transferred to a penal colony in Bobruisk, in February 2012. His conditions of detention are harsh: he works 6 days a week doing routine manial work and is isolated even within the camp itself, with his fellow prisoners unable to talk to him under a threat of a punishment. Several short and long personal meetings with his wife have been cancelled as a punishment. He is regularly deprived of his right to food parcels and repeated fabricated allegations that he has committed “regime violations” suffocate all hope of his anticipated release or possible amnesty. In spite of this, Ales Bialiatski maintains a positive attitude and continues to write intensively. Two books have been transmitted by him through letters and published since in detention.

Please see the below articles on conditions of detention and recent news from Ales Bialiatski:

Ales Bialiatski has served a half of his sentence

The political prisoner, head of the Human Rights Center “Viasna” Ales Bialiatski has served a half of the term of imprisonment. He mentioned this date in his letter to his wife, Natallia Pinchuk.

He recalls certain periods of his life, certain dates in the calendar. It is clear that these dates do not coincide with the official festive dates. These are other dates, which are quite said for him and us, his family. He writes that November is coming – the darkest and the most said month. The only thing he can mark in it is 4 November, marking exactly the half of his prison term”, said Natallia Pinchuk

Ales Bialiatski was arrested on 4 August 2011 and sentenced to 4.5 years of imprisonment for the alleged concealment of income on a large scale...

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Ales Bialiatski continues his literary work in jail


A book of memoirs and socio-political articles by the head of the Human Rights Center “Viasna”, political prisoner Ales Bialiatski, is being prepared to publication. The bulk of the book was written by him in jail.

According to the compiler of the book, Palina Stsepanenka, the new book will be a logical continuation of the published one, “Englightened by the Belarusian Issue”.

““Englightened by the Belarusian Issue” was exclusively literary book, whereas this one will include his memories of the socio-political activities. Recently he has started writing about Viktar Ivashkevich. He writes about the times when he was an activist of the anti-Communist youth underground movement, as well as about his human rights activities and the creation of “Viasna”...

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Ales Bialiatski allowed a short meeting with his wife and sister

The imprisoned leader of the Human Rights Center “Viasna” Ales Bialiatski was visited today by his wife Natallia Pinchuk and sister Volha in the Babruisk-based penal colony No. 2.

The two-hour meeting was the first visit allowed to Ales Bialiatski’s relatives since December 2012.

According to Natallia Pinchuk, “Ales said he felt well and his mood was good, though his detention in the penal colony in Babruisk for two years cannot be called good.”

The human rights defender is still working on a sewing production line, reads a lot, knows much about the main events outside the prison from newspapers. During the meeting, he was interested in the lives of his relatives and friends, and other news.

On August 7, also after a long break, Ales Bialiatski was allowed to receive a food parc...

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Administration of Colony No 2 See No Reason to Abolish Penalties Imposed on Ales Bialiatski

The administration of the colony thinks that human rights defender Ales Bialiatski “had repeatedly violated the order of serving the sentence” and all penalties were issued to him “strictly in accordance with the Code of Criminal Procedures”.

The administration of the correctional colony No 2 in Babruisk replied to BAJ’s address sent on August 4. August 4 is the day when Ales Bialiatski was arrested in 2011; it’s been two years that he stays in prison for human rights activities. He was sentence to four and a half years’ imprisonment in high-security jail. However, the regime is stricter than it can be – for insignificant reasons...

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First food parcel for 8 months passed to imprisoned head of “Viasna” Ales Bialiatski


Today, on 7 August, the first food parcel for this year has been passed to the political prisoner Ales Bialiatski. Earlier, on 6 May 2013, his wife Natallia Pinchuk paid a visit to the penal colony No.2 where he has been kept since February 2012, to pass him a food parcel. However, the prison officials reported that in March 2013 Ales Bialiatski was denied the right to receive food parcels for another 6 months as a result of the imposed penalties.

Bear in mind that in March-June 2012 Ales Bialiatski received three reprimands, as a result of which he was deprived of the right of visits with his family. After receiving these reprimands, in June 2012 he was declared a “malignant offender”, which deprived him of the right of amnesty of 2012 for economical crimes...

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Ales Bialiatski: after 2 years in prison, the solidarity continues


2 years after his arrest, Ales Bialiatski, Vice President of FIDH and President of Human rights center Viasna, is still behind bars, as are 11 other political prisoners whose rights he was defending right up to his very last day of freedom.

August 4, 2013 marks the second anniversary of his arrest.

In spite of his situation, including the forced daily work together with his fellow prisoners in the Babruisk Penal Colony, Ales refuses to remain silent:

Ales Bialiatski does not hope for a quick release

Ales’ conditions of detention are harsh. His fellow prisoners are not allowed to talk to him...

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Ales Bialiatski does not hope for a quick release

Ales Bialiatski

The political prisoner Ales Bialiatski, head of the Viasna Human Rights Center, does not believe that he will be released soon and devotes all his free time in prison to his creative work.

The human rights defender Tatyana Revyako received a letter from Bialiatski in which he addresses this issue. The letter is dated May 6, right after Easter. This is significant because there were hopes that political prisoners might be released over this holiday.

Tatyana reports that “He wrote that he really didn’t expect to be released because he had not received any specific signs that his fate or, I would think, the fate of any other political prisoners, would change significantly at this time...

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Ales Bialiatski has been deprived of food packages for six months


On May 16 Natalya Pinchuk visited her husband, Ales Bialiatski, at Babruisk Penal Colony, where he is being held.

Radio Svaboda reports that Natalya intended to leave a package for her husband when she learned that he had been deprived of the right to receive food packages from March to August.

I don’t know what violation he is being punished for, and I didn’t bother asking. It’s a rhetorical question. They’ll find a reason if they want to,” noted Natalya.

According to Natalya, Ales called home in early May, and he usually doesn’t complain about anything in the letters that reach her.

Natalya was able to leave her husband a sweat suit, bed linen, and other items. These made up the only clothing package that he is allowed to receive annually.

Over the past year, Ales Bialiats...

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Ales Bialiatski: “I now have graphomania”

Ales Bialiatski

Ales Bialiatski has been living literature as he waits for spring to arrive. In correspondence with friends he jokes about the sheer number of notes he has written recently and talks about the sources of his inspiration.

I now have a disease known as graphomania,” he writes. “Whenever I read something, I have the desire to write about it. And I know that my writing will stop as soon as I am released because, as usual, I won’t have enough time for it.”

Ales writes that he is now savoring the last pages of Siarhei Dubavets’s “The Studio. A History of One Miracle.” “I am hooked on this book since I know a good half of the heroes in it. So I’m only reading a little bit at a time. This book is very sincere and important.” Ales later notes that it was this book that inspired...

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Bialatski’s property taken away from his apartment

Court officers have started taking away items, previously placed under a decree for seizure, from Ales Bialiatski’s apartment.

The wife of politically imprisoned Ales, Natalia Pinchuk, told Radio Svaboda that the day before, a court officer had taken a TV-set from their apartment, which had been placed under siezure before Ales’ trial:

“I memorized the commentary by a court officer. When he was taking the TV-set out of the house, he said: “It is like they could not have seized something more valuable!”

According to Natalia Pinchuk, this is the first of Bialatski’s property to be taken out of the apartment.

Ales Bialatski was sentenced to 4.5 years, in November 2011, for alleged concealment of income from abroad...

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