Cover of the book “Dad and the Penguin” by Aliaksandr Vasilevich.

Today, the well-known businessman and political prisoner Aliaksandr Vasilevich, who has been held in a KGB run pre-trial detention center for over a year now, celebrates his birthday. He turnes 47 years old. Aliaksandr Vasilevich was detained twice in 2020. The first time happened when he visited the KGB in order to submit a petition to change the measure of restraint against the former presidential candidate Viktar Babaryka. This ended with a trial against Vasilevich, in which he was charged with participating in a rally for which he was sentenced to 14 days of arrest. He was detained for the second time on 28 August by the Department of Financial Investigations of the State Oversight Committee. His apartment, his office as well as companies headed by Vasilevich were subjected to searches. Aliaksandr was among the political prisoners who attended the meeting with Lukashenko in the KGB pre-trial detention center.

In late August 2021, Vasilevich’s term of detention was once again prolonged. It is still unclear what he is accused of. Aliaksandr has been officially classified as prone to extremism. This status has been assigned to many political prisoners in Belarus.

On 2 December 2020, with Aliaksandr still in custody, his second daughter Urshulia was born.

On the birthday of Aliaksandr Vasilevich, his wife Nadzeya Zeliankova posted print-ready files containing his book of fairy tales entitled “Daddy and the Penguin” for open access. Vasilevich wrote these nine fairy tales in prison for his eldest daughter Adele. “Sasha apologizes for the fact that the last [fairy tales] are not positive,” his wife writes. “He says he lacks communication with people who are doing well.”