August 4th 2013: International Day of Solidarity with Belarusian Civil Society
Two years ago, on August 4th 2011, Ales Bialiatski, a leading human rights defender and head of ‘Viasna’ human rights centre in Belarus was arrested and later sentenced to 4.5 years in prison. He has since been recognized as a prisoner of consciousness and was nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize in 2012.
Today in Belarus there are 12 political prisoners.
For the second year, organizations around the world will mark August 4th in a sign of solidarity with Belarusian civil society and human rights defenders who continue their work in Belarus. They will organize pickets, concerts, letter-writing marathons, film screenings and other events.
“We are convinced that the situation in Belarus is significant not only for Europe and Central Asia, but also for many other countries, where activists are being harassed with impunity by the authorities,” say the International Solidarity Day organisers.
Last year, actions marking the International Day of Solidarity took place in 18 countries.
In Warsaw, the following events will take place. Entry is free, discussions will be in Polish:
July 31- August 4
12.00 – 19.00: Letter-writing marathon to political prisoners (Belarusian House, ul Wiejska 13/3)
12.00: Picket in solidarity with political prisoners (Plac Zamkowy, ul. Krakowskie Przedmieście)
15.00: Discussion on civil society and political prisoners in Belarus. With Natalia Radzina, chief editor of charter97.org; Dzmitry Bandarenka, coordinator of the civic campaign European Belarus; MEP Marek Migalski (Belarusian House, ul Wiejska 13/3)
18.00: Discussion on Belarusian: art, culture, society. With Michał Potocki, Dziennik Gazeta Prawna and Inna Reut, Belarusian art critic (Klubokawarnia Solec, ul. Solec 44)
19.30: Concert. Belarusian jazz vocalist Krystyna Gedzik will perform eight pieces in a jazz-folk arrangement (Klubokawarnia Solec, ul. Solec 44)
Events in Warsaw are organized by: Amnesty International, Belarusian Information House, European Belarus, Free Belarus, Freedom and Democracy Foundation, Helsinki Foundation for Human Rights, Horyzont, Office of Marek Migalski, POLIS, Solidarity with Belarus Information Office, Stefan Batory Foundation, Together for Belarus.
Zmicer Barodka (Belarusian, Polish), Belarusian House: + 48 511 267 474; Tomasz Horbowski (Polish, English, Russian), Stefan Batory Foundation: +507 135 101; Alexandra Kirby (English, Polish, Russian), Solidarity with Belarus Information Office: +48 668 679 312; Olga Salomatova (Polish, Russian) Helsinki Foundation for Human Rights: +48 504 080 218; Ales Zarembiuk (Belarusian, Polish, English), Belarusian Information House + 48 605 140 861