20 July 2019, Saturday, 20:02
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Activists of Mothers-328 Prayed Near Colonies

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The rallies flooded entire Belarus from Minsk to Polatsk.

They went on hunger strikes, carried out pickets, visited "deputies" and addressed the country's leadership. And now the activists of the "Mothers-328" movement visit Belarusian colonies with drug convicts, Belsat reports.

From Minsk to Polatsk, mothers of drug convicts have arranged a pilgrimage to the colony, where their children serve their sentences.

Alena Kuzmina, mother of the convict (Article 328):

"My son is serving his sentence here, in this colony, he knows that I'm here under the fence and that we pray.

Alia Bernal, mother of the convict (Article 328):

"No one wants to hear us. And we have initiated such a campaign: we pray and we will visit every colony with drug convicts (Article 328).

Human rights activist Stanislau Tsybinsky, who is engaged in the re-socialization of former prisoners, accompanies the activists. The participants of the campaign want to draw attention not only to the very tough punishment but also to the lack of drug abuse prevention and to the ineffectiveness of the state actions in this area.

"The authorities say there are 80.000 people in the country who use drugs. But if so many people are imprisoned, then there shouldn't have been any dugs in Belarus. But the number of drugs is increasing", Alla Bernal says.

Stanislau Tsybinski, Belarusian Support Center:

"Even Shunevich, Minister of Internal Affairs, said that the number of drug convicts had increased. This indicates that their system is not working. The chosen direction is wrong".

Today, prayers took place in two colonies in Babruisk. Then they will visit Mahiliou, Shklou, Vitsebsk and Polatsk, while the destination is the colony near Ivatsevichy. We have had no problems today, but we do not know if it is like that in future.

"Yesterday, some mothers called and told us not to approach the colonies, heads of colonies called and forbade us to hold prayers", Alena Kuzmina says.

According to the movement, about 17 thousand people are serving sentences in Belarus under "drug articles".