Updated at 17:11,20-07-2018

Byalyatski: Maybe my arrest will make human rights activists act


Ales Byalyatski reads books, learn English, does physical exercises and writes memoirs in the remand jail. He wrote this in several letters to his colleagues, Viasna Human Righs Centre informs.

"I have nothing to do here except for reading and writing letters (which I have not done for the last 15 years). I am fine. I've got used to the life here. I watch TV (we have two channels here), learn English and read," Byalyatski said in a letter.

The human rights activist notes in another letter that to his surprise, the library in the remand jail "is not so bad". "I even ordered Belarusian books for the next time. Books can be borrowed twice a month," Byalyatski writes.

"I've read in Narodnaya Volya about the banned pickets. Maybe my situation will make Belarusian human rights activists act," Byalyatski hopes.

The 48-year-old human rights activist said he did "physical exercises to keep myself fit". "I walk in the yard, do push-ups, jump and do other exercises. I have good appetite again after a week when I did not want to eat at all. My health is good so far, as well as mood," Byalyatski wrote.

The human rights activist says he is prepared he will be in custody until trial. "Life stops here for me in comparison with the previous year. But there's something positive, because I have much time to think. I am not nervous, I do not make big plans realizing that everything in my life now depends not on me, but on external factors. In other words, I am floating down the river of life and get myself prepared for any developments," Byalyatski said.

Ales Byalyatski, the Vice President of the International Federation for Human Rights and head of Viasna Human Rights Centre, closed by the Belarusian authorities, was detained in the evening of August 4. Holding in custody was chosen for him as a measure of restraint on August 5. The human rights activists was brought charges with violating part 2 of article 243 of the Criminal Code (concealment of income at an especially large scale) on august 12. The term of custody was extended for two months.

The arrest of Ales Byalyatski evoked a wide international response. The leadership of the EU, the United States and other countries, human rights groups, famous public figures and politicians urged to release the human rights activist.