20 June 2021, Sunday, 7:30
Sim Sim, Charter 97!

Iryna Khalip was allowed a meeting with her husband Andrei Sannikau

Iryna Khalip was allowed a meeting with her husband Andrei Sannikau

The spouse of the former presidential candidate was granted the possibility to temporarily leave Belarus.

“Yesterday I was called to the criminal and executive inspection of the Partizanski district’s police department, where I am registered. The head of the inspection Natalia Koleda told me that a positive decision was in the end taken on my application and I can go visit my husband and Novaya Gazeta editorial office before 3 April, - Iryna Khalip told the charter97.org web-site. – In different words me my husband were granted a meeting. Of course, a meeting in Europe is much better than a meeting in the Navapolatsk colony, but nothing is changed regarding my status. I still remain under arrest and I will face a new trial in July, which would decide what to do with me. It is just that for the time of the two trips allowed police will not visit me in the evenings. Apart from that everything remains the same – registration at a police department every Monday, the curfew as of 10 p.m., police visits at night with inspections”.

The journalist of Novaya Gazeta asks the question: why was she temporarily allowed to leave the country?

“Why has the regime suddenly changed the concept, one may wonder? Back at the end of October after Lukashenka’s first statement my editor in chief Dmitry Muratov came to Minsk and went to the same criminal and executive inspection. And the same official explained it to him in details that there can be no talks about me going to Moscow. But yesterday it was all suddenly resolved within couple minutes. And I am sure: the meeting with my husband only became possible due to journalists. First Evgeny Lebedev from The Independent, then Tatsiana Karavenkava from BelaPAN, who asked Lukashenka uncomfortable questions, managed to move the deal. And those who took the topic, called to official agencies, demanding explanations, made Lukashenka’s servants turn like grass snakes on a hot pan. So I am very grateful to my colleagues. It is exactly due to them, not a sudden strike of humanism of KGB and its management, I received an opportunity to see my husband at least for a few days.

At the same time I realize very well, that journalists could had knocked on any doors without a result, but it is exactly now, as we see, another stage of the bargain has started. We were all put on auction in exchange for loans, Eastern Partnership and the lifting of the sanctions. I have no doubt that the short meeting with my husband, provided to me, will be presented by Lukashenka’s emissaries as a festival of democracy. I really hope that Western politicians will have enough wisdom not to eat that bait”, - Iryna Khalip noted.