Helping a former political prisoner under pressure even after her release

  • Story

They came for me in late 2021: three investigators in civilian clothes, three in full gear, the purpose of the fourth remained unknown. Immediately they took away my phone, forced me to unlock it. The phone was also taken away from my youngest daughter, she refused to give the password, after which the search began. At the end of the search I was taken to Minsk. Immediately I was interrogated by the GUBOP and videotaped. Then I was interrogated in the Frunzenski District Police Department, and there, until nightfall, I was taken to the detention center. From there I was taken to Okrestina for five days. Before that all his personal belongings were taken away in the Frunzenski district police station, right down to his rubber band.

There were 8 to 16 people in a two-man cell on Okrestina. From there I was taken to Frunzenskii for interrogation. On Okrestin they took away shoes and clothing. There were no mattresses or hot water. But there was a 24-hour bright light. Before their incomprehensible holiday (November 7), for three days in a row they did not turn off the “patriotic” songs. Music was playing non-stop. These conditions were accompanied by insults, searches, nightly waking up with reports on my article, and cell walks from 40 minutes to two hours. 

Then I was sent to Zhodino. There they registered me as prone to “extremism”. Apparently they did not like me very much, because I was transferred from one cell to another. I was deprived of parcels, packages and letters. Cells were filled with snitches, planted, HIV-infected people. Up to three people, with acute form, homeless, people with mental disorders. They turned off the hot water. The water was turned off on the hottest days. It was 18 degrees of frost and we had to walk for 2 hours each. Political prisoners were moved in handcuffs, on chains and with dogs.

I was sentenced to one year in prison. The prosecutor asked for two and a half. Plus an appeal from a lawyer. I served the whole term without leaving prison. The repression didn't end after my release. The phones were confiscated, all the cards were seized. Even her eldest daughter's SIM card was blocked. Even if I had been able to get a job with the civil service, they would have deducted 75 percent of my earnings for a fine. The same thing would happen to my pension. The fine was 3,200 Belarusian rubles. I have a criminal record from two years to indefinitely. This means that if they want to make a case against me, I'll go as a repeat offender and I'll face five years in jail. I can't leave Belarus legally because of my unpaid fine and criminal record. I am under supervision in my hometown and now I am planning to move to another city to solve my difficulties. I will be very grateful if anyone can help me at this stage.

How much is needed?

450€ — two months' rent (landlord's condition); purchase of basic groceries; medical supplies; purchase of seasonal outerwear.

The collection is over. Сollected:
€ 450
The collection is over. Сollected: € 450