Belarusian artist and activist Alice Pushkin died in prison, his wife said. The cause of death is unknown.
Pushkin, 57, was serving a five-year sentence in a prison in Grodno, western Belarus. His wife told the Associated Press news agency that he “died in the prison’s intensive care unit under mysterious circumstances.” Belarusian authorities have not commented.
Pushkin often portrayed President Lukashenko. For example, he painted him Once in Hell, surrounded by riot police, on a mural in a church in the town of Biber.
I was stripped in protest
He became famous for his “President’s Compost” campaign in 1999. He then emptied a compost cart in front of Lukashenko’s office in the capital, Minsk, placing a picture of Lukashenko on it and attaching a pitchfork to it. He got two years in prison for it.
Pushkin also joined the opposition’s protests against Lukashenko. In March 2021, he was arrested and sentenced to five years in prison for hate speech and “desecration of state symbols”.
Hearing this statement, the Viasna Center for Human Rights says that he took off his clothes and showed cross-shaped wounds on his stomach. He was sentenced to 13 days in solitary confinement.
Belarusian opposition leader Svetlana Tikhanovskaya says Belarus has lost one of its “talented and brave sons”. Alice Pushkin was, in her opinion, “the embodiment of the indomitable spirit of the Belarusian people.”
“He died as a political prisoner of the regime, and the responsibility rests with his guard, Lukashenko and his comrades.” Tikhanovskaya hopes for “a firm international response to his death and the ongoing inhumane treatment of political prisoners”.
According to the Viasna Center for Human Rights, there are approximately 1,500 political prisoners in Belarus, including Alice Bialiatsky. This human rights activist founded Viasna and won the Nobel Peace Prize last year.
Recently, three ministers from Lukashenko’s government died suddenly in quick succession.
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