Political prisoners decide to...get married in prison

Court trials against Square participants are over, but some issues have remained unsolved. Grating parted several couples who did not manage to get married at freedom. When they had nowhere to hurry in their everyday life, the question has become crucial in the conditions when a guy is in prison, and a girl is free.

A status of a girlfriend or a fiancée is not enough to get permission for a meeting, to see ones beloved person. The only way out is to get married in prison. Are girls ready to such twist of fortune? Euroradio investigated two similar stories with different circumstances.

"Tell the Truth" activist Paval Vinahradau was sentenced to 4 years of imprisonment on May 5. His girlfriend Sviatlana Harokhavik saw her beloved man several times within half a year, in the pre-trial detention center, as the rules there are milder. After Paval had been sent to Ivatsevichy colony, grating parted them. The couple decided to use any opportunity to see each other; therefore, there will be a wedding.


Sviatlana Harokhavik: “We are going to get married in prison in a little bit more than a month. I take this step consciously as Paval is a very dear person to me, we've lived together for two years. Now the situation deprived us from any opportunities to see each other. Thus, we decided to get married now to have the right for meetings”.


"Tell the Truth" activist Paval Vinahradau was sentenced to 4 years of imprisonment

Sviatlana wrote a letter to the colony, asking about marriage. They replied to her that there was no problem, the only thing is, the date should be appointed by the prison administration for several couples at a time, as the ceremony takes place approximately once in 1-2 months.

Sviatlana Harokhavik getting ready for a wedding with Paval Vinahradau in the colony in Ivatsevichy


The story of the political prisoner Zmitser Bulanau and his girlfriend Nadzeya is similar - grating parted them and absence of a marriage stamp in their passports made meetings impossible. Zmitser was sentenced to 3 years of imprisonment in a reinforced security colony. It's an unbearably long parting for the beloved. They saw each other only twice for the last half a year - at the trial and once after the sentence. Nadzeya thinks that getting married in prison means acceptance of these perverted rules of the game and simply breaking down. Zmitser is now in custody in Mahileu colony.

Nadzeya Makarevich: “We've lived together for two years. Naturally, we planned to get married someday, but there wasn't such an urgent need - we just lived together”.




Nadzeya was in despair when the judge refused her a single meeting with her beloved, to discuss whether it was worth it to get married in prison.

Nadzeya Makarevich: “There is not such a concept as "civil wife" – this is what the judge told me right in my face when I came to her asking for a meeting. I came to her and explained the situation, that I am his fiancée, and we need to solve this question with Zmitser, whether we will get married or not. She said "You stated in the application that you are a civil wife. A civil wife is a nobody, you are a nobody, I will never allow you any meetings”.

Zmitser Bulanau confessed his love for Nadzeya and proposed to her in his last speech at the court trial.