Nearly 1,500 political prisoners are currently in Belarus. We present platforms and initiatives, and provide advice on how you can support these people directly and indirectly from abroad.
In Belarus, nearly 1,500 political prisoners are currently held. This includes women and men, young and old, from all strata of Belarusian society, who have exercised their basic rights to freedom of expression and assembly and have campaigned for a free, democratic Belarus.
These people can be helped in various ways. We present platforms and initiatives, and give advice on how you can support political prisoners in Belarus directly and indirectly from abroad.
Build up political pressure
- Contact members of parliament in your constituency and call on them to demand the freedom of political prisoners. If they have not already done so, parliamentarians can adopt a prisoner. They can get involved with the issue in committees, in caucuses, and especially in the public sphere. For example, public representatives and elected office holders can call on the Belarusian authorities to release all political prisoners.
- You yourself can sign petitions on the topic, for example the petition started by us for the release of all political prisoners in Belarus.
Create publicity for the situation in Belarus
- Share information about the situation of political prisoners on your social media channels and use the hashtag #WeStandBYyou. Our partner organization Viasna reports daily on new cases and sentences.
- Befriend political prisoners through the portal Politzek.me (available in English and Russian). As part of this symbolic friendship, you can draw attention to the fate of political prisoners by actions such, for example, performing creative tasks, wearing black, or posting pictures on Instagram.
Support the political prisoners directly
- Congratulate the prisoners on their birthdays! We publish a bimonthly list with the names and addresses of prisoners to whom you can write. Here you can find the list of birthdays in the next two months.
- You can also write a letter or send a postcard to political prisoners regardless of occasions such as birthdays. Here we have summarised how this works and what you should bear in mind.
- Alternatively, you can send your letter via the website Vkletochku.org (available in English and Russian). Volunteers in Belarus will translate your text, create a cover letter, and send it to the prisoner you have selected. Replies will be sent to you as a scan by email. To cover the costs of envelopes and postage, you can also support this purely voluntary project financially.
- The Solidarity Postcards Atelier offers a similar service. Using a form, you can send a message in English or Belarusian to a political prisoner. The initiative, started by students of the Belarusian Human Rights School and the Belarusian Students’s Association, then writes your text manually on a postcard and sends it by post to Belarus. You can also support the initiative financially.
- On the website Dissidentby.com (available in Russian and partly in English and Polish) you can find out how to provide financial help to the families of prisoners and how to help prisoners by transferring money for use in the inmate commissary, or by sending them a parcel. On the website, you can also become a “Keeper” for a specific political prisoner to provide direct support.
- Feel free to send a parcel to detention. However, there are a few things you should keep in mind. Viasna explains in this two-page PDF in what cases you should refrain from shipping and what you should not send in any case.