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Story of Vitold Ashurak - Face of Protest #7

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Vitold Ashurak, a political prisoner from Berezovka, who was sentenced to 5 years in jail in Lida on 18 January 2021, passed away. The activist’s heart stopped in Shklov colony No 17. He was only 50 years old.


Source: Viasna

Vitold Ashurak was an activist from Berezovka, member of the Belarusian Popular Front (BPF) Party,. coordinator of the movement "For Freedom". He repeatedly run for a seat in the local Councils of Deputies and the Parliament. He raised environmental issues, fought against the harmful production of glass wool. Together with his comrades-in-arms he honoured the places of Kalinowski insurgents: they put crosses on the burial places of the insurgents all over the Grodno region and made a monument between the villages. For a long time, he worked as a glassblower in a glass factory and did renovation of apartments.
Vitold became interested in politics 10 years ago. He unexpectedly decided to go to the 2010 Square following which he got his first 12 days of administrative detention. When he came out, he immediately joined the BPF Party, became a member of the BPF Sojm and started speaking Belarusian.

Vitold Ashurak was detained on 19 September 2020. On 18 January 2021 his trial was held in Lida. Without giving any specific reasons, Judge Maksim Filatov declared the trial closed and sentenced him to 5 years in prison. It was Vitold Ashurak who reported in his letter that in the Shklov colony political prisoners were marked with yellow stripes.

Vitold Ashurak
Vitold Ashurak

Vitold Ashurak: "As for me, I take the term of 5 years as a grade of "excellent" for having had the honour of raising the torch of rebellion against the dictatorship among the best people of Lida! Indeed, I am honoured!"

Vitold Ashurak had a secondary education. "When asked what kind of education he had, he liked to repeat: "My education is the best — I am self-taught". "He was very interested in history, art history. He read mountains of books about it. He was interested in tourism. Every year we went rafting on the Neman river," Sergey Pantus, activist and friend of Vitold’s in Lida,.recalls.

"Vitold is one of the most principled, honest and real people I know. It seems to me that in free Belarus he will be a really great regional politician," his companion and friend Olga Bykovskaya said about Vitold.

The official cause of death was cardiac arrest. At the same time, according to his wife’s information, Vitold had never had any problems with his heart. The exact reasons for the tragedy are unknown.