The Album “34 Years for Four: Belarusian Attorneys in Prison (And in Life)”

May 21 has been declared an International Day of Solidarity with Political Prisoners in Belarus. At the moment, there are almost one and a half thousand political prisoners in the country. Among them are 4 attorneys sentenced to long terms of imprisonment for conducting their professional activities — Maxim Znak, Anastasia Lazarenko, Vitaly Braginets, and Alexander Danilevich.

Four names, four surnames, sixty-one letters, four licenses, four payer numbers. That’s not enough to see and know a living person! Antoine de Saint-Exupéry wrote in The Little Prince: “If you tell grown-ups, 'I saw a beautiful red brick house, with geraniums at the windows and doves on the roof...,' they won't be able to imagine such a house. You have to tell them, 'I saw a house worth a hundred thousand francs.' Then they exclaim, 'What a pretty house!”

We do love and know our colleagues not by income figures, but by what kind of persons they are, what they like, what they are fond of, what the names of their dogs and cats are. And we want to tell you about wonderful people behind the soulless numbers of mere statistics. The motto of our colleagues from the Moscow Memorial: "We won’t let tragedies turn into statistics." We want to prevent turning living people into lines on the “courts” websites.

Therefore, we, the Right to Defense project and the Belarusian Association of Human Rights Lawyers have prepared a mini-album for the Day of Solidarity with Political Prisoners “34 Years for Four: Belarusian Attorneys in Prison (And in Life)”, in which we tell about our colleagues that were unjustly convicted for being professionals, faithful to their duty and conscience.
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