Young European Ambassador on Belarusian Political Prisoners: "Seeing a Person, Life, Fate, and Path to Protest"

Alina Kharisova, a young European ambassador and political activist, talks about the patronage of political prisoner Alena Gnauk as part of the information campaign of our Foundation and the Dissidentby initiative "Until All are free."

I chose a political prisoner myself. It was important to me that it was a woman. And choosing Alena Gnauk, I really feel that I would very much like to talk to her and learn a lot from her. After becoming her guardian and reading her books, I noticed that we have a lot in common: our attitude to life and lifestyle – she also takes care of her health.

Guardianship over political prisoners is important because 1500 fates merge into one number, and we do not see the faces and personalities behind it. The number is too large! It is necessary to highlight the personal stories of each political prisoner. And in the form of guardianship, it will be more productive. People begin to see the personality, life, family, and loved ones waiting for the political prisoner, their fate, and their path to protest.

I often mention Alena at various events. I have a T-shirt with her portrait. In Germany, there is a book about political prisoners that includes Alena's story. I promoted this book at the university (Alina studies at the Technical University of Munich – ed. note). I share information about such books and news on social media whenever possible.

Alena Gnauk – an activist from Pruzhany, sentenced to 4.5 years in prison. Initially, she was convicted in the "round dance case" for a protest action in Brest, then accused of insulting the so-called president (for "slander" against him), discrediting country for her social media posts about the situation of migrants in Belarus, as well as for "persistent disobedience to the colony administration."

Alina Kharisova – International Secretary of the Association of Belarusian Students, US Youth Advisory Council member, young European ambassador, leader of the project "She/Her."
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