Stockholm, May 20, 2013
TUPILAK/ILGCN WORKING FOR IMPRISONED BELARUS CLOTHING DESIGNER
Stockholm -- Tupilak (Nordic rainbow cultural workers) and the ILGCN (international rainbow cultural network) have "adopted" imprisoned Belarus clothing designer Sasha Varlamov as a prisoner of conscience and as a victim of a greedy, corrupt undemocratic political system.
He has been accused (and still not sentenced after two years in detention!) and jailed in Belarus on false charges of tax evasion as a cover up for his resistance to the regime's take-over of his lucrative, internationally-recognized business -- a common method of compensating supporters or this the last dictatorship in Eastern Europe -- and as a punishment for Sasha's position as one of the few internationally-established Belarus citizens widely known as a homosexual.
Sasha is also seriously ill and is not receiving proper medical care in prison.
"We appeal for support from our Nordic colleagues in Nordic LGBT organizations and media in Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Greenland, the Faroes, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania as well as international LGBT organizations such as ILGA, ILGA-Europe and the international youth organization, IGLYO," says Bill Schiller, chairman of Tupilak and secretary general of the ILGCN Information Secretariat- Stockholm.
"We will try to visit Sasha in person when our delegation arrives in Minsk -- a visit made possible thanks to continued support from the Swedish Institute -- the official institution promoting international exchange between Sweden and other countries," Schiller adds.
Letters of support for Sasha -- and even crucial post card greetings -- can be sent to AleksandrVarlamov, SIZO №1, ul. Volodarskogo, 2, 220050 Minsk, Belarus.
Please avoid mentioning Sasha's gay status in your letters and cards as this could worsen his treatment by prison staff.
Suggested lines in Russian:
Саша, держитесь. Мы помним о Вас. Справедливость восторжествует!