The head of the Catholic Church was called on to intercede for the inmates of Belarusian prisons.
The wives and mothers of Belarusian political prisoners wrote a letter to Pope Francis. They ask the pontiff to help free the inmates of Belarusian prisons. The initiators of the letter submitted the text of the appeal to the editorial office of the Charter97.org website.
His Holiness Pope Francis
Relatives of political prisoners in Belarus, who have united in the civil initiative “Liberation2020”, are herewith 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 prisons 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, deprived of the most necessary things. They are kept in inhuman conditions, are left without medical care in the midst of a pandemic, and are deprived of their last connection with the world - letters. Our hearts break, but we cannot 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 Malakhouski, Ryhor Kondruseu, Halina Derbysh, Andrei Voinich, Mikita Zalatarou, Dzmitry Hopta, Antanina Kanavalava, Aliaksei Hubich, Uladzimir Hundar, Andrei Skurko, Volha Klaskouskaya, Palina Sharenda-Panasyuk, Raman Bahnavets, Siarhei Verashchahin Tatsiana Lasitsa, Dzianis Ivashyn, Viachaslau Rahashchuk, Siarhei Monich, Artsiom Bayarski - we are asking for your help for these people. Your authority, the authority of the Catholic Church, can help to achieve their liberation, and save their lives.
Our families have been separated for over a year. We cannot spend the brightest holidays with our relatives - Christmas and Easter, 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 spirits, 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 us save our loved ones!
We ask you to pray for Belarus!
The letter also lists people who need urgent release, as they need qualified help from doctors.
Ksenia Lutskina suffers from bronchial asthma and a cavernoma in the brain. During the time of imprisonment, the condition deteriorated sharply;
Aliaksei Ramanau has a 2nd degree disability due to cancer. In the colony, health deteriorated sharply.
Uladzimir Malakhouski, Ryhor Kondruseu, and Halina Derbysh also suffer from cancer and need urgent help;
Andrei Voynich has a serious liver disease and needs a liver transplant. Behind bars for a year;
Dzmitry Hopta has a mental illness. Sentenced to 2 years in prison;
Antanina Kanavalava and Aliaksei Hubich have severe eye diseases. Without immediate surgical treatment, they can go completely blind.
Uladzimir Hundar has one leg. Moves with a prosthesis. He is constantly deprived of the right to use it.
Mikita Zalatarou, 17, has severe epilepsy. In court he said that he was systematically beaten in the pre-trial detention center, and was not given the necessary medications.
Andrei Skurko suffers from severe insulin-dependent diabetes;
Volha Klaskouskaya underwent surgery while in custody. The next day she was returned to her cell. Loses vision rapidly.
Palina Sharenda-Panasyuk has an old spinal injury, Gilbert's syndrome.
Raman Bahnavets has a kidney problem after being beaten on August 9. Siarhei Verashchahin was beaten during the arrest. He was diagnosed with a spinal fracture and was returned to the pre-trial detention center with an injury.
This is only a small part of the tragedy that is now taking place in Belarus.