On March 8, 2023, Olga Karach supported women political prisoners in Iran, Belarus and Russia, first of all, a participant of Rabochy Rukh (workers’ movement) from Belarus.
Today, there is an international feminist network, «Soft Strength», organizing actions of solidarity with women political prisoners in Iran, Belarus and Russia.
On March 8, 2023, solidarity actions were held in Vilnius, Helsinki, Warsaw, Brussels, New York and other cities of the world. All the participants carried portraits of women political prisoners, each beaten with a baton in dictators’ colors held by a male hand.
The following women were portraited at the actions:
Hanna Ablab, an employee of the Belarusian railway, participant of the workers’ movement Rabochy Rukh, a political prisoner sentenced to 11 years of imprisonment under Article 356 of the Criminal Code «High Treason» and Art. 361-1 of the Criminal Code «Formation of extremist groups or active participation in such». The Belarusian regime sees independent trade union movement as extremism. The penalties for the offense «High Treason» are heavy, with the maximum sentence being a death penalty.
Astiaj Haghighi, a blogger from Iran, arrested for dancing with her boyfriend in a city square. She was sentenced to 10 years and 6 months of imprisonment for «promotion of impurity and indecency, assembly and collusion against national security, and propaganda against the regime». The couple have also been banned from social media and are not allowed to leave the country for two years.
On November 1, 2022, the security forces violently arrested the couple in their home in Tehran. Their arrest happened after they had posted a a video on social media showing them dancing in a city square.
Olga Smirnova, an architect and artist from St. Petersburg, an anti-war activist and a member of The Peaceful Resistance, was arrested under Article «discrediting the Russian army» and accused of «spreading fake news about the Russian army». She is currently at a pre-trial detention facility. Olga is known for her solidarity actions in support of Crimean Tatars and for participation in protest actions against the occupation of the Crimea and in support of Crimean Tatars. Investigators accuse Olga of posting the following text on March 6, 2022, in a local anti-war VK group: «Especially grave war crimes committed by Russian aggressors in just a few days of the current year are comparable in scale and intensity only to atrocities of the German Nazis in the years of the Second World War. This war is a crime against humanity! Our opinion is on our banners!»
Participants of the flash mob demand international attention and immediate release of all women political prisoners in these countries!