TALLINN, Estonia — Nobel Peace Prize laureate and activist Ales Bialiatski has been transferred to solitary confinement at his jail in Belarus, his spouse stated Tuesday.
Natalia Pinchuk instructed The Related Press that jail authorities have toughened situations for the 61-year-old Bialiatski, who’s serving a 10-year sentence, regardless of his power sicknesses.
“Successfully, it is a jail inside jail,” she stated. Jail authorities didn’t permit Bialiatski to fulfill together with his lawyer following his switch over alleged disciplinary violations, she stated.
Bialiatski, Belarus’ high human rights advocate and one of many winners of the 2022 Nobel Peace Prize, was convicted in March with three colleagues on costs of financing actions violating public order and smuggling, accusations he denied.
He has been serving his sentence at a jail colony for repeat offenders within the metropolis of Gorki. The power is thought for inmates being crushed and subjected to arduous labor.
“The jail colony in Gorki has an terrible popularity as a conveyor belt for tormenting political prisoners,” stated Pinchuk, who spoke by cellphone from Strasbourg, the place she attended a convention of the Council of Europe. “The authorities in Belarus are persevering with brutal repressions, exhibiting that they could topic anybody to torturous situations whatever the Nobel prize.”
The arrests of Bialiatski and his colleagues got here in response to large protests over a 2020 election that prolonged authoritarian President Alexander Lukashenko’s rule and have been seen by the opposition and lots of within the West as a sham.
The protests have been the biggest ever in Belarus. Greater than 35,000 folks have been arrested and 1000’s have been crushed by police.
Lukashenko, a longtime ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin who backed Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, has dominated Belarus since 1994.
Bialiatski shared the 2022 Nobel with a number one Russian human rights group, Memorial, and the Ukrainian Heart for Civil Liberties. He based the Human Rights Heart Viasna, Belarus’ most distinguished human rights group. It has been branded an “extremist group” by Belarusian authorities.
Viasna consultant Pavel Sapelka instructed the AP that Bialiatski’s transfer to solitary confinement might contain restrictions on walks, jail meals and meals deliveries.
“It means a major tightening of jail situations,” he stated.
Sapelka stated Belarus at the moment has 1,462 political prisoners.
“The Belarusian authorities are blocking entry to legal professionals, sustaining an data blackout and overtly ignoring worldwide norms with regard to all political prisoners,” he stated.