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Writer Andrej Dynko released after ten days in jail, publishes prison diary

(WiPC/IFEX) - Writer and journalist Andrej Dynko, arrested with hundreds of other protestors in the days surrounding the 19 March 2006 presidential elections, was freed on 31 March after serving a 10-day sentence. He had been accused of "hooliganism" for allegedly using "vulgar language". PEN Centres world wide protested against his arrest and that of other writers and journalists. PEN continues to call for the release of others who remain detained and for an end to the attacks on those whose only act has been to practice their rights to freedom of expression and association.

During his time in prison, Andrej Dynko kept a prison diary that has been published on the Charter '97 website. Here is an extract:

"I am sitting on a long wooden bench (which I also use for sleeping). My inmates pressed their backs to each other on the plank bed, the bed is so narrow that they have to sleep reversed, facing each others' toes, muffling up their legs with their coats. The cold crawls inside through the iron-barred hole with the fire alarm, which leads into the corridor, the chilly wind drifts through the chinks in the window with a matted reinforced glass; during the late Soviet times such glass was used to make doors in the apartment blocks of panel multi-storied houses. Akrestsina is finally quiet. Socks get dried on a radiator. "Kent"-butts stick out of the ashtray, made out of bread, the only accessible building material. The brown wooden floor reflects the light of the bulb, a guard is coughing in the corridor, a small square window of the feeding-trough is oozing out on the tin-enforced door. If you don't suffer from claustrophobia, it is quiet and calm here. Everything is provided for you, nothing depends on you.

"Being imprisoned feels like being pregnant: it's worrisome in the beginning, and in the end. Prisoners discuss which provocation can wait for them at the prison exit. Almost everyone here has an acquaintance who is under politically-motivated criminal investigation. It was especially painful to hear from Siarhej Salash (he was sent to our cell one night before the court) that secret services stealthily put drugs into the home of Kastus Shydlouski, the museum owner from Braslau. One can expect everything from this regime. The worst tricks of the Soviet times are back, and the repressive machine has grown much larger."

To read the full diary, go to:

Charter 97 website also has a daily log of events as they unfold. For further details and other links, please refer to WiPC's Rapid Action issued 23 March 2006:

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