Saturday, 17 August 2013

Amnesty International Letter - Belarus

Youth activist Zmistser Dashkevich was sentenced to two years in a labour colony in March 2011 for alleged assault, just before the presidential elections. He was due to be released in December 2012, but his sentence was extended by a further year for ‘violating prison rules’. Zmitser was offered a pardon if he admitted fault, which he refused to do, maintaining his sentence is politically inspired. He is now in the notorious Hrodna prison, where conditions are especially harsh. Amnesty International considers him to be a prisoner of Conscience.

Please copy, paste and adapt the template below and send two letters: One to the President of Belarus (which will costs 87p when sending from the UK), and one to the Belarus Embassy. Please visit your local Amnesty International website to lend your support more worthwhile actions. Thank you for your support.

President Alyaksandr Lukashenka                                                    19 August 2013
ul. Karla Marxa 38
220016 Minsk

Dear President Lukashenka

Zmitser Dashkevich and Others

There are continuing reports in the UK of obstruction and harassment of your citizens who are critical of your government. Belarus is rated by 'Reporters Without Borders' 157th in the press freedom index, the lowest place of any European country.

It is also reported that the authorities in Belarus regularly deny people the right to freedom of peaceful assembly, association and expression. This prevents people from speaking out in public, holding demonstrations or setting up civil organisations, rights that are recognised as an essential part of European politics.

I hope you will take prompt action to restore freedom of peaceful assembly, association and expression enjoyed in other European countries.

One such step would be to release, immediately and unconditionally, Zmitser Dashkevich and all others imprisoned in connection with the December 2010 election demonstrations and ensure that none of your citizens are obstructed, harassed or intimidated for exercising their rights peacefully.

Thank you.

Yours sincerely

Robert Maher

cc. Mr Valery Dougan, Charge d'Affaires, Embassy of the Republic of Belarus, 6 Kensington Court, London, W8 5DL


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