2011 01/09
Алесь Бяляцкі, Менск

The arrested head of the Human Rights Centre “Viasna” Ales Bialiatsky tries to use time, which he is forced to spend behind the bars, more productive. Human rights activist reads a lot, studies English language, makes exercise and writes memoirs about the association of young writers “Tuteyshiya”, since he was one of its founders.

“There is nothing more to do here than to read and write letters (I haven’t done it for about 15 years). I’m doing well. I somehow integrated into local life here, watch TV (two channels are broadcasted here), brush up on English, read, “- wrote Ales Bialiatsky in one of his letters.

In another letter, the human rights activist wrote that the library in jail was “surprisingly not so bad”. “For the next time I ordered Belarusian books. They bring them here twice a month, “- says the chairman of “Viasna “. He also wrote that he had read a book “Kolyma Tales” by Varlam Shalamau in prison.

«In “Narodnaya Volya” I read about picketing, which was banned. Hope that my position will make Belarusian human rights activists move a little faster, “- said the head of “Viasna”.

Ales Bialiatsky doesn’t forget physical activity. “Here I’m doing various physical exercises to keep myself in shape. I go to the yard, do push-ups, bounce up, stretch, “- he writes.

Exercise improved human rights activist’s appetite: “I have my appetite again, but the first week i didn’t want to eat at all. I’m of a good health and mood so far,”- said Ales Bialiatsky.

As Palina Stepanenka said in the interview for “European Radio “, in one of the letters to her “Ales says that he began to write his memoirs about the association of young writers “Tuteyshiya”. He encouraged me as well to write memoir and call other association members to ask them to write their memoirs about those years – the mid-80s, when the association existed”.

Fragments from letters in which Ales Bialiatsky describes his mood and inner feelings:

“I was preparing myself for the court – for about six months. If this works out before – it will be fine. So far I’m not preparing for this, I’m not in a hurry, I will be getting ready later. I also learn the local rules of behavior: when to eat, when to go to the “dalnyak” – everything is regulated here, but personal untouchability (space) and our poor property is highly respected here, unless you did not interfere with the others…

… Life stopped dead for me if compared to the last year, but it also has a positive meaning, because there are a lot of time to think. But I don’t make any big plans, aware that much of my life now depends not on me personally, but on the external factors. In short, I’m floating down the river of fate and prepare myself for any scenario”.

Quoting spring96.org,
Prepared by Ales LETA,
Belarusian Legal Portal,

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