Yellow tag: Activist Paliyenka labelled as extremist in prison

Zmitser Paliyenka

In a letter to his friend, activist Dzmitry Paliyenka who is serving his time in Babruysk penal colony Nr 2 says he has to wear a yellow ‘extremist’ tag.

“The confinement conditions are not bad, life is livable. I hope I will not be transferred to any other place. I’m fine. I got a job – making work gloves. Recently they have filed me as an extremist. Now I am having a yellow tag on my clothes,” Dzmitry wrote.

Does the tag mean that Paliyenka is being discriminated by prison administration?

Paliyenka’s letter

“We have sent many letters [to arrestees], but we have not got any. And we think that they may be deprived of correspondence, which may indicate some special treatment, all the more so as there is a practice of tagging,” activist Vyachaslau Kasinerau says.

According to him, such practice is ‘wild’:

“This bears a strong resemblance to the Auschwitz concentration camp, where gay people or Jews were tagged. Although Paliyenka was sentenced for his views; he never committed any crime, but they labelled him as an extremist.”

Now Paliyenka’s friends are trying to do their best to help him. His lawyer is seeking to see him. The friends sent parcels and letters, but they do not know whether they reached the addressee.

Belarusian HRC Viasna considers Dzmitry Paliyenka a political prisoner.