Updated at 21:04,23-03-2021

Byalyatski: I was lucky to hear chimes on New Year's Eve


Political prisoner Ales Byalyatski sent a letter home describing how he celebrated the start of 2013.

"I compare how he marked 2012 in a detention facility in Zhodzina and the celebration in the Babruisk penal colony. In Zhodzina, they were ordered to go to bed at 10 p.m., but here, they were allowed to listen to the chimes. They were perhaps watching TV," Natallya Pinchuk, human rights activist's wife, says.

Ales Byalyatski wrote he had many things to do in the last days: he was writing replies to the people who congratulated him. "He still continues receiving congratulation letters, mostly from abroad," Natallya Pinchuk said. According to her, Ales Byalyatski feels good and has no health problems. He can walk in the prison yard for 30-50 minutes every day.

The head of Viasna human rights centre, Ales Byalyatski, was sentenced to 4.5 years in prison for alleged tax evasion. The human rights activist said at the trial the money on his foreign accounts had been spent on aid to victims of political repressions in Belarus.