Nobel peace laureate transferred to brutal prison in Belarus, his wife says

TALLINN (ESTONIA): Nobel Peace Prize laureate Ales Bialiatski was transferred to a notoriously brutal prison in Belarus and hasn’t heard from him for a month, his wife said on Wednesday.
Natalia Pinchuk told the Associated Press that Bialiatski, who is serving a 10-year sentence, has been kept secret since he moved to the N9 colony for repeat offenders in the city of Gorki, where prisoners were beaten. dams and hard labor. .
“The authorities created intolerable conditions for Ales and kept him in strict information isolation. Not a single letter from him for a month, nor did he receive my letter. “, Pinchuk said over the phone.
In March, a court convicted 60-year-old Bialiatski – Belarus’s leading human rights advocate and one of the 2022 Nobel Peace Prize winners – and three of his colleagues on charges of funding events acts of violating public order and smuggling.
It is the latest move in a years-long crackdown on dissent that has engulfed the country since 2020.
Bialiatski has served 20 months in prison since his arrest in 2021, and Pinchuk is concerned his health is deteriorating.
“In the most recent letters I see how his writing has changed and I see how the situation is getting worse for him, both in terms of his health and his eyesight, and I am very sorry. , very worried about that,” she said. She called on the United Nations to intervene.
The harsh punishment for Bialiatski and his three colleagues was a response to Mass protests against the 2020 election gave the authoritarian President Alexander Lukashenko Another term in office.
Lukashenko, a longtime ally of the Russian President Putin Who support Russia’s invasion of Ukrainehas ruled the country with an iron fist since 1994. During the 2020 protests, the largest ever in Belarus, more than 35,000 people were arrested and thousands beaten by the police.
According to the Viasna Center for Human Rights, founded by Bialiatski, all four activists have maintained their innocence. He shared the 2022 peace prize with Memorial, a prominent Russian human rights group, and the Ukrainian Center for Civil Liberties.
Viasna has counted 1,516 political prisoners in Belarus to date. Human rights advocates say the authorities deliberately create intolerable conditions for many of them.
It has been 28 days with no word on the fate of the imprisoned former president Viktar Babaryka, who is said to have been beaten in his cell and transported to the hospital. No one has heard the word Nikolai Statkevicha prominent opposition figure serving a 14-year, 100-day sentence.


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