Open Democracy, “Cats, crows and planet Earth: drawings by Belarusian political prisoners”

Drawings sent to friends and family by Belarusian political prisoners, detained in a crackdown after the 2020 elections, provide an insight into their lives

By Hleb Liapeika, October 25, 2021

Since Belarus’s presidential elections in August last year, the country has been gripped by a brutal crackdown by security forces.

Protesters, politicians, civil society participants and journalists have been detained and tortured, and many are facing prison sentences. The Viasna Human Rights Center states there are currently 812 political prisoners in the country.

In response to this wave of police violence and arbitrary detention, solidarity campaigns in support of those facing imprisonment on politically motivated charges have sprung up. But with little information about what life is like inside Belarus’s prison system, people on the outside rely on letters, and often drawings, by prisoners.

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