Some political prisoners are released, while new people are thrown behind the bars. Youth activist Andrei KIM, accused of violent acts against a militiaman, is in the list of those, whom the Belarusian and international community require to release. Andrei’s mother Tatsyna Andreeuna tells to the newspaper “Narodnaya Volya” about Andrei and his situation.
Andrei Kim was born in Minsk two months before the Chernobyl disaster, on 26 February 1986. His mother is Korean, father is Belarusian. The Kims lived in Uzbekistan for some time. Andrei was named after his grandfather, who worked in Tashkent and enjoyed respect and authority among people.
When Andrei was 6 years old, his mother gave him to the Belarusian National Gymnasium №4 in Minsk.
– I like Belarusian, and I wanted my son to know it well, – she said.
Andrei began to study in the musical school №17 at the age of 7. The teacher noticed his talent and transferred him to a song class. He had an angel voice when he was small, like the world known Italian singer Robertino Loretti. An excellent teacher, chorus director, trained musical taste and moral qualities of a personality. Almost all children who sang in choir, came to God. Some of them became members of the “praising group”. They organised services and concerts in hospitals, nursing homes, prisons. The members of the choir and their parents visited children’s hospital in Baraulyany, prepared concert programme, bought sweats for children. They say the small children with bold heads after chemotherapy sitting with candies in their hands, listening to songs and dreaming about better days. The young singers handmade presents, for elderly people in nursing homes.
“I accompanied the choir everywhere. Andrei sang in Russian, Belarusian, and Italian. He read much ecclesial literature. “Pray for me,” Andrei writes from the prison.
“I’m thankful to my son for he is such a person. He helped me to turn to all good and real,” Tatsyana says.
“When he grew up, he became interested in the public life. He thinks a Christian shouldn’t just pray, but must give a helping hand if a neighbour needs it. When in school, Andrei was a member of a debate club, was a captain of the team of intellectual games ‘What? Where? When?’” Andrei’s mother tells.
Andrei was a student of the History Faculty in 2006, when latest presidential elections were held. He participated in the electoral campaign with his university team of erudites. For participation in camping on the square, the friends got arrests. Andrei was sentenced to 12 days of arrest in special prison facility on Akrestin Street. According to Belarusian tradition, it has become impossible to continue study in university after such “breach of discipline.”
“Andrei pitied me and told little about his activity. He didn’t want me to worry,” Tatsyana acknowledges.
Andre Kim worked as a volunteer for Belarusian Helsinki Committee. He was an independent observer at the actions and detentions of youth activists in militia departments. Active and agile, he was always at the center of events. He had an opportunity to apply for Kalinouski education programme and go abroad, but he decided Belarus needed him more.
Andrei Kim was detained on 21 January 2008 at the rally of entrepreneurs. He got 10-day arrest allegedly for using foul language. But the militia decided to go further. As a result a criminal case was initiated against him. By the way, Kastus Lukashou in his time had trial on the same article.
“We think the case of Andrei Kim is a political one, the statement of the public commission on defence of Andrei Kim says, because:
– Andrei is not guilty of the crime incriminated against him;
– The very possibility of clash between demonstrants and militia was caused by unlawful acts of militia;
– Andrei Kim’ case is personally controlled by prosecutor of Minsk;
– This article was already used against democratic activists (cases of Radzivil, Lukashou and others);
– The lawyer had to pledge to secrecy;
– Andrei’s relatives are under moral pressure.”
“We know Andrei as a true Christian, as a person who dedicated much time to campaign of solidarity with political prisoners,” the statement of the public commission on defence of Andrei Kim notes. “But we need to struggle for his freedom. So we call the Belarusian society and international community to support the public campaign “Freedom for Andrei Kim! Freedom for Business!” Only immediate release of Andrei Kim and other political prisoners, closing all criminal cases initiated on politically motivated grounds, can be conditions for negotiations with the current Belarusian authorities.”