His Holiness Pope Francis
Relatives of political prisoners in Belarus, who have united in the civil initiative «Vyzvalenne (‘Liberation’)2020», are appealing to you.
We were forced to turn to you by the situation in our beloved Belarus, the monstrous violence and injustice that is happening in relation to the citizens of our country, to our loved ones.
Thousands of citizens have ended up in prison in Belarus just because they defended their right to live in a democratic free country, opposed the violence and crimes of the regime. Minors, mothers with many children, and seriously ill people were imprisoned.
Our loved ones are kept behind bars, they are tortured and deprived of the most necessary things. They are held in inhumane conditions, remain without medical care in the midst of a pandemic, and are deprived of their last connection with the world — letters. Our hearts are breaking, but we are not able to help them.
Among political prisoners there are people whose lives are in danger at the moment due to health problems. We know only a fraction of such cases, but they are monstrous. We have included only a few of them in the attachment to the letter.
Ksenia Lutskina, Aliaksei Ramanau, Uladzimir Malachousky, Ryhor Kondruseu, Galina Derbysh, Andrey Voinich, Mikita Zalatarou, Dzmitry Gopta, Antanina Kanavalava, Aliaksei Gubich, Uladzimir Gundar, Andrey Skurko, Volha Klaskouskaya, Palina Sharenda-Panasyuk, Raman Bahnavets, Siarhei Veraschahin, Taciana Lasitsa, Dzianis Ivashyn, Vyachaslau Ragaschchuk, Siarhei Monich, Arciom Bayarsky — we ask for your help for these people. Your authority, the authority of the Catholic Church, can help in their liberation and save their lives.
Our families have been separated for over a year. We cannot spend the brightest holidays — Christmas and Easter — with our dear ones, we cannot hug them on their birthday. They do not see how their children are growing.
In one of your messages you said: “To be free is a challenge, a constant challenge: it fascinates, captivates, gives courage, encourages to dream, inspires hope, leads to good, gives faith in the future; it is stronger than any slavery. The world needs free people!»
Our relatives remain free-spirited, even while in prison. These are the people the world needs. However, now Belarusian political prisoners, more than ever, need the support of the world.
The Catholic Church has always supported the Belarusian people in their striving for freedom and truth, the doors of the Church have always been open for those seeking justice and peace. We hope for your support now.
We, relatives of Belarusian political prisoners, ask you to pray for them and raise your voice against the lawlessness that is happening in Belarus. Help save our loved ones!
We ask you, pray for Belarus!
With deepest respect,
On behalf of the civil initiative «Vyzvalenne 2020»
Prisoners in need of urgent qualified medical care
Ksenia Lutskina suffers from bronchial asthma and brain cavernoma; her condition deteriorated sharply during her imprisonment.
Aliaksei Ramanau is 2nd stage disabled
due to cancer. His health rapidly deteriorated in the colony.
Uladzimir Malakhouski, Ryhor Kondruseu, Halina Dzerbysh also suffer from oncological diseases and are in need of urgent treatment.
Andrei Voinich has severe liver disease and needs a liver transplant; he is imprisoned already for one year.
Dzmitry Hopta, who has a mental illness, was sentenced to 2 years in prison.
Antanina Kanavalava and Aliaksei Hubich have severe eye diseases and might go completely blind without immediate surgical treatment.