Alena Kumets, a mother of one of “silent revolution” protests’ coordinators, told about details of her son’s recruiting.
On September 22 Uladzimir Kumets returned from Poland to Minsk to his parents. On the next day at 4 p.m. someone rang at their door allegedly to repair the porch door, “Nasha Niva” reports.
“When I opened the door, a detachment of riot policemen in full gear – with truncheons and helmets, like cosmonauts! – burst into the flat. (As it turned out later, it was Almaz assault team. “NN”). They pushed me off immediately. They came to the room of my elder son Anton, others came to Valodzya (Uladzimir). I decided they came to him, as he had returned from Poland.
I dashed into my son’s room. But a riot policeman in mask didn’t let me go. He even hit me. I asked: why? I am not a criminal! After that a policeman in mufti told to riot policemen to leave me alone.”
Valodzya was kicked down on the floor, handcuffed. The same was done to Anton. To the question why they were arrested, the person in mufti showed the woman some document. Allegedly, there was an audio recording, and someone with a nickname “Anton” threatened to murder another person. In this connection Anton is a suspect under article 186 of the Criminal Code, “Threat of homicide, causing bodily harm or destruction of property.”
When Alena asked why her younger son was arrested, she was said: “It must be so”. They did not explain anything else. The guys were allegedly taken by riot policemen to the police department of Frunzenski district of Minsk (as it turned out later, it was a lie). Then people in mufti started to search the flat. A few persons went to search the summer cottage of Kumets.
“They had not presented themselves; they just said they were policemen. They did not allow me to make a call to my husband’s mobile phone. They did not even allow me to go and drink some water and go to the lavatory. As if I was a criminal…”
As a result of the search the notebook of Anton was seized. By the way, the credit for the notebook had not been repaid yet. The mobile phones of the both sons were seized as well. The inventory of the search had not been given to Alena. The persons in mufti told Alena before they left that “everything is going to be alright, we shall investigate everything” and that the boys would be released soon. Alena called a taxi and went to the police department of Frunzenski district immediately. However she was told there they had no information. No one had been taken there.
“I was shocked. No one knew anything. Then the officer on duty told me, as if sneering, to call the KGB and the Registration of accidents bureau.”
Thus, all this time the woman had no information about whereabouts of her son and what was happening to them. She did not know who arrested them and seized the computers and mobile phones. “I called every phone number. Finally I found out: Anton Kumets was taken to the remand prison in Akrestsin Street. A criminal case under Article 186 was opened against him. An investigator, Dzmitry Ramanchuk, was in charge of the case.” Alena started to search for her younger son. On the next day she was given a phone number of the KGB officer who had interrogated Uladzimir.
The woman threatened that in case her son would not be released, she would tell the whole story to journalists. Uladzimir soon called her himself. He told her not to worry, and said he would return home soon.
“And then I understood everything. Why he would be released, and what would happen – I realized everything. When he came, I said: you don’t need to tell anything, I understand… He said: mom, I had signed the document… I said: I know. And it was right thing to do. We have not done anything wrong to anyone. We had been forced. We must rescue each other.”
Alena is sure that Uladzimir has signed the paper to help his brother. However, he did not plan to follow the instructions of KGB men. As long as criminal charges were lifted against Anton, he decided not to inform mass media about that. After 2 days in Akrestsin prison Anton was released. But the criminal case on charges relating Article 186 was not closed. A new investigator, Dzyanis Sarakans, was appointed.
In a month, in the end of September, the investigator told Anton that the case had been closed.
Uladzimir Kumets postponed public disclosure of the fact that he had signed an agreement with the KGB, to see the criminal case against his brother to be closed. Uladzimir’s mother stresses that her son had not been going to follow orders of the KGB officers. He had not harmed anyone by signing the agreement with the KGB.
Considering that, the recent statements by Nyaklyaeu concerning the young people who had publicly stated they had signed agreements with the KGB, seem strange to her. “I do not understand what Nyaklyaeu’s accusations against my son are. What should he have done? Not to sign? He would be detained, tortured. And his brother would be imprisoned as well. Or was he to betray his brother, family?
It seems to me that by his statements Nyaklyaeu has betrayed not only Uladzimir, but all those young guys who believed in him. I think that Nyaklyaeu must apologize to all young activists.”