Bialiatski learned about his father's death on the funeral day
On 24 December, at the age of 84, died Viktar Bialiatski, father of convicted human rights defender Ales Bialiatski. Before that, Ales' wife Natallia Pinchuk has made every effort to get the permission for the meeting of the son and the father. However, Bialiatski did not manage to meet his father, nor was he allowed to attend the funeral. Later he was convoyed to Minsk morgue for parting with his father.
Tuesday, 27 December 2011, by Belarusian HRH based on spring96.org, svaboda.org
Doctors diagnosed lung cancer in September, after the arrest of Ales. It was known that Viktar would not live for long. Recently, when the patient's state deteriorated significantly, the relatives made every effort to get the permission for the meeting of father and son, so that they can shake hands one last time, have a talk and say goodbye to each other.
However, it could not be accomplished: the judge Tamara Vysotskaya allegedly gave the permission, but not in due form, so it was not accepted in the colony. Meanwhile the Department for the Execution of Sentences informed Natallia, the wife of Ales Bialiatski, that the reply to her request would be given within fifteen days.
On the morning, 26 December, human rights defender's spouse Natallia once again appealed to higher instances, which could make the decision to provide an opportunity for Ales to say goodbye to his father, who died on December 24. All of the previous appeals to the Chair of Pershamayski district court, to the Ministry of Internal Affairs and to the Department for the Execution of Sentences were inconclusive due to the absence of the legal procedure for escorting persons whose sentence is not inured.
The request for permission for Bialiatski to attend the funeral of his father was transferred and registered in the General Prosecutor's Office. The Head of the Department for Supervision over the legality of criminal penalty Yury Haroshka during the meeting with Natallia, once again stressed out that Belarus hasn't got a legislative procedure that would allow to organize a parting with the deceased under the appropriate circumstances and advised to contact the House of Representatives of the National Assembly with legislative initiative to ensure that this procedure was further defined by law.
At the office of the Ministry of Internal Affairs the request was accepted by the chief inspector at large, police colonel Shauliukevich. He noted that the application can be submitted to the Acting Minister in the afternoon only.
The request for permission for Ales Bialiatski to bid farewell to his father was also submitted to the Court of Pershamaiski district of Minsk. It is expected that a decision on it will be made during the day.
Thus, all possible instances, which can influence the resolution of this issue were involved. Despite the lack of legislative procedure, the relatives of Bialiatski hope that the officials will show humaneness and humanity, and the decision will be positive.
But hopes were futile. On 26 December, the Court of Pershamaiski district of Minsk allowed to convicted human rights defender Ales Bialiatski to say goodbye to his deceased father. However, the Department for the Execution of Sentences ignored this, and the parting wasn't allowed.
Bialiatski had 10 minutes to say goodbye to his father
On 27 December at 8 AM human rights defender Ales Bialiatski said goodbye to his father, who died on 24 December.
The human rights defender was brought to morgue on Dauhinauski tract from Zhodzina prison heavily guarded and with escort cars. The area was cordoned off and no outsiders were not allowed in. The process was recorded on video.
Ales Bialiatski was allowed to stay with his father for about 10 minutes. He prayed at the coffin and said a few words to his relatives. Immediately after, he was convoyed back to Zhodzina and cordons were lifted from the territory. Ales learned about death of his father on the funeral day, in the morning of 27 December.
In future human rights defenders are going to appeal to the legislature with an initiative to fix the gaps in the legislation due to which the person in custody, whose guilt has not been established by the court, are in a worse legal state than the convicts, for whom the procedure that determines the presence at the funeral of relatives is defined in the Criminal Executive Code of the Republic of Belarus.
Belarusian HRH based on spring96.org, svaboda.org