A book about Belarusian political prisoners presented in U.S. Embassy

The second book of the series "A day in the life of a political prisoner" was presented by the creators to the characters of the book, their families, and journalists on December 1. The presentation took place in the U.S. Embassy.

Director of the Radio Liberty in Belarus Alyaksandr Lukashuk compared this book with the Book of Genesis in his welcoming speech. 

Alyaksandr Lukashuk: "One of the most important books in the history of mankind is called the book of Genesis. "A day in the life of a political prisoner" is the book of Belarusian genesis in the beginning of the ХХІ century. There is nothing more important than what you did, and still do - the characters of this book, your friends, allies and relatives - for the history, for freedom, for Belarus".

There are stories of 48 people under the cover of this book - political prisoners who got to prison within the period of 2009-2011. The majority of them could get a copy of the book personally by that moment. However, some of them are still imprisoned. Their relatives and friends presented them.

Dzmitry Bandarenka's wife Volha gave him the best regards and the words of love, hoping that he would find out about this event.

Volha Bandarenka: "I am here together with my friends, or sisters, as you say, here they are, sitting beside me. I want you to hear the voices of those who love and support you. Let us all shout "Hello!" to Zmitser!

Andrej Sannikau's mother Ala Sannikava got a letter from her son the day before the presentation. It was a long-expected letter - the ex-candidate's relatives didn't know where he was and what was happening to him for two weeks. The lady read out her son's letter in tears. The letter was short, just several lines. Andrej calms his mother down and asks her to hold on. 

Ala Sannikava: "My dear son! I will do my best to hold on. I wish you to be healthy - you have enough bravery. Hold on, I support your family, your little son. Just hold on, we are waiting for you!"

The present recalled Zmitser Dashkevich's mother who passed away while her son was in prison. Edward Lobau's mother sent him words of support and congratulations to the colony, as he had a birthday on December 1. Paval Syeviarynets' pregnant sister Hanna addressed to her brother in his own style.

Hanna: "Hold on! We believe, we can, we shall win for sure! And - Long Live Belarus!"

Ex-presidential candidate Uladzimir Nyaklyaeu recited his poem to the present. He wrote it in the KGB prison. Alyaksandr Fyaduta also recited poems. Ex-presidential candidate Dzmitry Us seemed not to stop the electoral campaign - he claimed his intention to achieve amendments of the electoral legislation once again and said that he was gathering an initiative group in this regard.

Mikalaj Statkevich's wife Maryna Adamovich complained that she had no meetings with him for more than half a year. Former political prisoners Mikita Likhavid, Dzmitry Drozd, Alyaksandr Klaskouski, Syarhej Martsaleu, Syarhej Vaznyak and Andrej Bandarenka held speeches, and said that they hoped no more peiople would suffer in the same way as they did.

Besides, head of the human rights center "Viasna" Ales Byalyatski is in prison now. "Viasna" is an organization which defended the characters of the book "A day in the life of a political prisoner", helped their families. The human rights defender's wife Natallia assured: Ales is a strong person, but his health is not that strong.

Natallia: "What would I like to wish him? Bravery? But I know he is brave. Optimism? He has enough of that too. The only thing I wish him is health, so that he could endure all challenges with honour."

In the end of the meeting, all the present expressed their wish that this book should become the last one in the series.

Photo by: Zmitser Lukashuk