Belarus frees political prisoner

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"I was really pleased that people came to welcome me over there near the prison in Baranavichy. I thought most of people would gather here in Minsk. It felt so good," Vasil Parfiankou told reporters and activists from various civil and political organizations who came to welcome him in Minsk.

Parviankou was fetched by rights workers from Human Rights Center "Viasna" to Minsk where the former political prisoner held a brief meeting with journalists in a backyard on Independence Avenue.
Parfiankou jokes that "6 months are not a real prison term... it's like taking a break at a health resort." Yet he admits the first "political" prison term was easier to handle.

"The first term was easier to take, because there was more air and more space. This time, you have to sit in a cell all the time. We were allowed to walk for one hour only within the 3 sq.m.- concrete backyard. Five steps forward, five steps back."

Vasil Parfiankou got behind bars for the second time for violating the preventive supervision rules. He was the first convict in the case of the "December 19, 2010 mass riots", sentenced to 4 years in prison. Having walked out free six months after the conviction, Parfiankou was charged again - now with violating the supervision rules by allegedy being absent at his registration address without an excuse.

 

Vasil describes his second arrest as politically motivated as well. Already pardoned, Parfiankou would often attend various protest actions. He says he will continue participating in pickets and demonstrations.

"I express my opinion. This is set out in the Constitution. Just like I did it before, I will continue doing this."

Vasil Parfiankou must check in with the supervisory authorities by Tuesday. If the police spot violations, Parfiankou has very good chances of visiting the "health resort" again.

 

"The first term was easier to take, because there was more air and
more space. This time, you have to sit in a cell all the time. We were
allowed to walk for one hour only within the 3 sq.m.- concrete backyard.
Five steps forward, five steps back."