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Responsibility for slavery in the twenty-first century


Pavel Latushka, deputy Head of the United Transitional Cabinet of Belarus, Head of the National Anti-Crisis Management, ambassador

An urgent matter requiring immediate attention is the problem of political prisoners in Belarus and the use of their slave labor in numerous enterprises based on colonies and prisons.

Currently, there are 1,422 officially recognised political prisoners in Belarus, who are illegally kept in open and closed detention facilities. According to the representative on social policy of the United Transitional Cabinet of Belarus Olga Gorbunova, about 1400 political prisoners have already served their illegally imposed terms and survived penitentiary repression and prison slave labor in the production facilities of the colonies. The most tragic are the deaths of political prisoners: Vitold Ashurak, Mikalai Klimovich, Ales Pushkin, Vadzim Hrasko and Ihar Lednik.

Political prisoners are illegally held in various institutions of the Department of Corrections of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Lukashenko regime. In Belarus there are 16 correctional colonies, 4 correctional colonies-settlements, 28 open-type institutions, or "chemistry" in popular language, where they are not only tortured, but also subjected to forced labor.

Political prisoners in penitentiaries are engaged in the production of specific goods, which are then sold both openly, including through online shops, and through numerous dealers and intermediaries, who when selling the goods change the manufacturer of the goods, i.e. do not indicate that the goods are produced by prisoners in the colonies. 

Also these goods can be exported, including to the markets of the EU member states. Revenues from the Belarusian prison-industrial conveyor belt are considerable. And these revenues are used to finance both the retention of Lukashenko's power and the repression itself.

We ask and urge all non-different and fighting against the regime citizens, mass media, democratic leaders, members of associations, parties, organizations, diasporas, all Belarusians and people sympathetic to Belarusians to speak as much as possible about the problem of political prisoners, forced labor and inevitability of punishment of Lukashenko's regime for the repression of the Belarusian people.

Leaving the problem of political prisoners without the attention of the world community will continue to lead to tragic deaths behind Lukashenko's bars.

We are obliged to do everything possible and impossible to stop repression, slavery and deaths of the Belarusian people. And to stop the existence of Lukashenko's criminal regime.

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