Political prisoners

In Belarus, a homosexual woman in prison is very vulnerable. We explain why

Firstly, parcels, transfers, appointments, calls are possible only with relatives. Same-sex marriages are not allowed in Belarus, therefore, if a woman gets arrested, her relationship with her partner is pretty much severed.

Secondly, same-sex love is still prohibited in the prison system in Belarus. This is punished by the administration of the colony and there is pressure from the prisoners.

Here is what Taccjana, a former political prisoner, tells Zerkalo:

“After lunch, women went back to the factory and continued to work until 4 p.m.”. One of those working days was remembered by Tatiana more than the others: one of the prisoners – a non-heterosexual girl – tried to commit suicide. “I just saw that some kind of mess had started. The operatives broke down. This girl was just lying on the sewing machine, and blood was dripping below. She was photographed by operatives, – recalls Taccjana. – They assumed that, most likely, her relationship with another girl became known to public. This is a violation of internal regulations, and they began to psychologically pressure her. As a result, the girl did not even come to work on her shift, but on a regular basis – additional working time – she sat down at the sewing machine and cut the veins with scissors. They saved her, then sent her to the SHIZO and put her on the register as prone to suicide”

Homophobia is often used by law enforcement officers as a form of torture against political prisoners: they put candid photographs of detainees in public. Therefore, it is important to understand that homophobia is a type of hatred that destroys people’s lives and health.

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