People locked up in a prison cell on Namesti Miru in Prague

Published: Oct 15, 2014 Reading time: 2 minutes
People locked up in a prison cell on Namesti Miru in Prague

On Namesti Miru in Prague, People in Need built a cell that was open to important guests as well as the general public. For example, Táňa Fisherová, Mayor Tomáš Hudeček, diplomat Pavel Fischer, Mirek Wanek from the band Už jsme doma and Emin Milli, director of the independent television station Meydan TV and a former political prisoner from Azerbaijan, all were given a symbolic sentence of five minutes in prison in the middle of Prague. 

"I would like to thank Mr. Hudeček, the Mayor of Prague, for expressing his solidarity with the nearly one hundred political prisoners in Azerbaijan. I call upon him to convince his colleagues in other European capitals to participate in the organization of similar events and to participate in them personally," said Emin Milli.

"We want to thank everyone who expressed their support for the unjustly imprisoned in Azerbaijan at our symbolic cell – by writing postcards to the them or by allowing themselves to be locked up for a few minutes," said Adela Pospíchalová from People in Need. About eighty postcards from Prague will soon be mailed to Azerbaijani prisons. "For people who at the moment have been forced to spend their time behind bars because of their fight for justice, it is of tremendous importance," said Pospíchalová. "Now is the time for Azerbaijan, which is currently chairing the Council of Europe, to release all its political prisoners," added Pospíchalová.

A number of those who came to express their solidarity were delegates from the Forum 2000 conference. Some of whom have their own personal experiences with persecution. For example, the Burmese blogger Nay Phone Latt, who spent several years in prison because of his civic activities, wanted them to know: "What you do is more important than where you are.  I survived four years in prison, because of these words from my fellow prisoners." Words of support also came from Cuban dissidents. "From all of us, you have our solidarity, hope and faith," said Raúl Luis Risco Perez, himself a former Cuban political prisoner.

Author: Adéla Pospíchalová