Belarusian Solidarity Day – 16 October
As on the sixteenth day of every month, hundreds of thousands of Belarusians and people showing their support in other countries will be lighting Candles for Freedom in their windows, staging street actions in solidarity, tying denim and white-red-white ribbons to their clothes, taking part in flash-mobs and Internet-actions. Church services will be held all over the world for Belarusian political prisoners, for the families of those opposition figures who disappeared, and for those fighting for freedom and democracy in Belarus.
Solidarity actions will take place in Washington, New York, Warsaw, Kyiv, Brussels, Stockholm and many other cities in the world.
These Solidarity Days have been held since, on 16 September 2005, the sixth anniversary of the disappearance of vice-speaker of parliament from the 13th session, Viktor Gonchar and business and public figure Anatoly Krasovsky, the police broke up a memorial gathering. They removed portraits those present were holding of politicians who disappeared without trace (these also included ex-Minister of Internal Affairs Yury Zakharenko and journalist Dmitry Zavadsky) and national flags. On that day the youth leader Nikita Sasim held his denim shirt above his head as a symbol of resistance to dictatorship.
At present there are 15 political prisoners in Belarus:
Nikolai Avtukhovich, leader of the entrepreneur movement
Nikolai Astreiko, member of the civic initiative on monitoring the elections “Partnerstvo”
Dmitry Dashkevich, leader of “Youth Front”
Timofei Dranchuk, member of the civic initiative on monitoring the elections “Partnerstvo”
Dmitry Zubro, youth activist
Aleksandr Kazakov, youth activist
Andrei Klimov, parliamentary deputy from the 13th session
Aleksandr Kazulin, ex-presidential candidate
Ivan Kruk, an activist of the United Civil Party
Yury Leonov, an activist of of the entrepreneur movement
Nikolai Razumov, activist of the trade-union movement
Pavel Severyanets, a youth leader
Sergei Skrebets. Deputy of the House of Representatives of the second session
Nikolai Statkevich, leader of the Belarusian social-democratic party "Narodnaya Hramada"
Artur Finkevich, youth leader
[The names above have been “Russified” in some cases where the Russian spelling is the one used in most reports on the peoples cases, including those on this site. This is purely because the differences between the Belarusian and Russian spelling can sometimes be great – translators note]