+++142 WOMEN political prisoners in Belarus in custody + 105 WOMEN under partial house arrest+++ 10 MINORS in custody!!! +++in TOTAL: 1220 political prisoners in Belarus in custody + 274 under partial house arrest+++

Happy New Year wishes from Veronica Tsepkalo, the Chair of the Belarus Women's Foundation

Dear friends!


This has been a difficult year for all Belarusians – for those who remain in Belarus, and for those who had to flee the country and are now trying to survive in a new country. Starting over in a new place without your family, your support, without a job, a place to live and without regular access to medical care, can be extremely hard. Many of those who have had to flee have young children which makes it even harder. But all of this pales in comparison to the plight of thousands of illegally imprisoned Belarusians. To be separated from your children and not to be able to see them grow, and to be separated from husbands and wives, parents and friends, is a challenge that is difficult to overcome.


Throughout 2021 the prisons in Belarus were inundated with political prisoners. As of today there are more than 1100 political prisoners in Belarus, of whom 129 are women and another 101 women are under partial house arrest. Thousands of other imprisoned Belarusians were not recognised as political prisoners but are nonetheless hostages of the regime and must be released immediately. These are harrowing figures considering that these people did not commit any crimes and were simply standing up for their civil rights. We shall never accept a situation like this in our country and shall fight on.


Over the last year the BWF has done a lot of work: we meticulously collected eye witness statements from women who went through violence, torture and humiliation in detention. We prepared and filed a claim to the International Criminal Court in the Hague. Our Foundation helps the children of Belarusians in prison - namely women who are at present held illegally, and we collaborate with the international community to help secure the release of women political prisoners. We help women who had to flee the country from persecution. Our foundation launched a number of campaigns which, we believe, bring victory closer and will help free thousands of innocent Belarusians.


Today, I would like to thank all those who have helped the BWF in our fight. Among them are activists and politicians from Europe and the USA, human rights organisations and activists, our compatriots in Belarus, and those who left Belarus some time ago but who still remember their roots.


Today, on behalf of the Belarus Women's Foundation I would like to wish you all a happy new year. I hope that 2022 brings you health, freedom, peace, prosperity and a sense of security in our future!


And most importantly, I hope that we will all soon be able to hug our families and friends in our country Belarus!


Happy New Year, dear friends!



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