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(en) Britain, AFED: Belarus ABC Infotour 2013 - fifteen UK dates in February & March
Mon, 11 Mar 2013 13:10:15 +0200
This is a major speaking tour about prisoners in Belarus by a visiting activist - a rare
chance to find out about what is going on and to see how you can support them. Scroll down
for background info to the infotour and leaflet template. The 'pro-democracy' Belarusian
news site Charter 97 very recently has reported about one prisoner, "Yauhen Vaskovich, an
anarchist and political prisoner, spent more than 150 days in a punishment cell in
prison." http://www.charter97.org/en/news/2013/2/14/65344 ---- Details about all Belarus
prisoners in English: http://abc-belarus.org/?cat=3&lang=en Videos online (subtitled):
and info about the videos here too:
Full details to be added for some meetings so come back to this page which will be
1. London (first meeting): Friday 15th February 2013, 7.00pm
The Autonomy Club. Freedom Bookshop. Angel Alley. 84b Whitechapel High Street. London E1
7QX. Nearest Tube Aldgate East.
2. Brighton: Sunday 17th February, 6.00-8.00pm. Cowley Club, London Road, Brighton.
3. London (second meeting): Tuesday 19th February, 8.00pm.
University of London SOAS, Room 116, Main Building, School of Oriental and African
Studies, University of London Thornhaugh Street, Russell Square, London WC1H 0XG.
4. Egham: Thursday 21st February. 6.30pm. Royal Holloway University. Room no. To Be Confirmed.
5. Cardiff: Saturday 23rd February, 6.00pm. The Wells Hotel, 77 Craddock Street, CF11 6EW.
6. Leeds: Sunday 24rd February. 4.00 pm (food - optional). Talk starts 5.30pm, until
7.00pm. Wharf Chambers, 23 Wharf St Leeds, West Yorkshire LS2 7EQ.
7. Manchester: Tuesday 26th February, 6.30pm. The Kings Arms, 11 Bloom Street, Salford.
8. Glasgow: Thursday, 28th February, 7.00pm. Kinning Park Complex, 40 Cornwall Street,
9. Edinburgh: Saturday 2nd March, 4.00pm. Autonomous Centre of Edinburgh, 17 West
Montgomery Place, Edinburgh EH7 5HA. http://autonomous.org.uk
10. Dundee: Sunday 3rd March. 4.00pm-5.00pm. Deaf Hub (near Old Mill), 23 Brown Street,
Dundee, DD1 5EF. http://www.facebook.com/events/358132377633319/?ref=22
11. Newcastle-upon-Tyne. Monday 4th March. 7pm at Bar Loco,22 Leazes Park Road, Newcastle.
12. Nottingham: Tuesday 5th March. 7.30pm. The Sumac Centre, 245 Gladstone Street, Forest
Fields, Nottingham, NG7 6HX. http://www.veggies.org.uk/event.php?ref=18
13.Oxford: Wednesday 6th March, 7.30pm. Albion Beatnik Bookshop, 34 Walton Street, OX2 6AA
14. Bristol: Thursday 7th March 2013, 6.30pm. Kebele Community Co-operative, 14 Robertson
Road, Easton, Bristol, BS5 6JY. http://www.kebelecoop.org/
15. London (third meeting): Friday 8th March 2013, 8.00pm. Self-organised London, 88-94
Newington Causeway, Elephant & Castle, London SE1 6EF.
If you can put on a meeting please contact the infotour at this email address: prisoners
Background to the infotour
Despite the welcome release of Pavel Syramolatau in September 2012, 5 comrades supported
by the Anarchist Black Cross are still in Belarusian jails facing years of incarceration
since being convicted of a range of crimes in 2011.
Artsiom Prakapenka was sent down for an attack on the KGB headquarters in Bobruisk, in
solidarity with anarchists arrested in 2010. He faces 7 years.
Jauhen Vaskovich faces the same, being convicted of the same crime.
Ihar Alinevich faces 8 years, convicted of attacking the Russian embassy in Minsk in
solidarity with Russian anarchists arrested in the high-profile Khimki case. He was also
convicted of arson at the Belarusbank and attack on the ‘Shangri La’ casino. He denies all
of these charges but was kidnapped by plainclothed cops when in Moscow and extradited to
Belarus illegally. He was also sentenced for participation in an anti-militarist
demonstration near the headquarters of the General Staff in Minsk.
Aliaksandr Frantskievich was sentenced to 3 years for participation in an attack on the
(state controlled) Trade Union Federation building and for computer hacking. Despite
having serious health problems (has only one kidney) he is still being held in a pre-trial
Mikalai Dziadok was also found guilty of the attacks on the ‘Shangri La’ and trade union
building, and participation in the anti-militarist demo, and was sentenced to 4.5 years
after being held illegally. He too denies charges against him.
The criminal damage for which these comrades were sentenced amounts to only a few hundred
dollars in each case. They are being in especially harsh conditions, reflective of their
These convictions form part of an ideologically driven repression of anarchists in
Belarus. They follow the revitalisation of Belarusian anarchism in the past few years.
Unlike in some other ex-Soviet Union countries and other modern dictatorships, anarchists
do not form a minor part of a dissident prison population consisting of the usual
pro-democracy and anti-corruption activists. They in fact make up just under half of the
‘political’ prisoners in Belarus. This is partly because it is possible to have sentences
revoked if you admit your guilt and write to the state asking forgiveness, which the 5
will not do.
The Belarusian ABC has campaigned consistently for them to be released and, in the
immediate term, for them to be allowed visits, medication, letters and literature, and
raises money for solicitors’ fees and to buy the comrades’ food. Supported by the
International of Anarchist Federations (IFA-IAF) they are undertaking a tour of France,
Italy, Germany, Spain and UK, to raise awareness and spark further solidarity. The latter
have a good chance of success because Belarus’ President Alexander Lukashenko has
expressed a desire for the country to be allowed to join the E.U. There are rumours that
this may be considered if human rights in the country are addressed.
The speaker for Belarus ABC will be in the UK mid February- mid March to discuss the
situation for activists in the country and to build solidarity for the prisoners. Please
consider putting on a meeting. A leaflet template is below.
For more information about the prisoners and the ABC in Belarus: http://abc-belarus.org
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