I support all Milinkievich’s statements.
He is right, right in everything. Only a dialogue with the West can help Lukashenka – who would dare to object? This is how it is.
Aliaksandr Milinkevich voiced in Brussels his own conclusions, which simply cannot be undoubted. He says that during the dialogue of the West with the Belarusian regime in 2008-2010 the repressions decreased three times, the events of 19 December were a provocation of Russian special services, and political prisoners were released not after the introduction of sanctions, but after the visits of Javier Solana and Bulgarian deputy Foreign Minister Nikolai Mladenov to Minsk. I confirm: that is true.
Let us assume we should not discuss the decrease of the repressions by three times, but completely trust the person who is saying that.
Probably, Aliaksandr Uladzimiravich operates with data from the ministry of statistics – we would not see these numbers in open access anyway. But is he says so, he must know. May be he personally calculated. The calculations are actually simple: they would sentence people to 15 days in prison – with the start of the dialogue between Lukashenka and the West they started sentencing them, say, to 5. Three times less. If riot policemen would punch demonstrators in both eyes before, then only in one with the start of the dialogue and still not completely. And Maya Abromchyk, whose let was smashed in the square, should thank the Providence for the dialogue between the West and Lukashenka, because in previous years, when there were three times more repressions, they would have smashed both of her legs and an arm – for the precision of the arithmetic calculations. However, the misfortune happened to Maya Abromchyk on 19 December 2010. Excuse me, it is a different story – here Russian special services intervened.
I agree with Aliaksandr Milinkevich that on that day everything was provoked by Russian special services. Only a lazy person does not yet know that on 19 December Kantemirovskaya division entered the city and Alfa descended on the roof of the KGB building. All the Belarusian law enforcers were neutralized, Kulashou and Zajtsau lay with no pants and with hands tied somewhere in the cellar and appealed to the conscience of Russian special services, Jarmoshyna was crying in the toilet because she was locked there and forbidden to speak about the second round under the threat of death, and Lukashenka barricaded himself in the office and was tracing out letter by letter “F*ck you, Putin!” on a large piece of paper as a farewell note (and it is okay that Medvedev was the president, Putin was still the one who commanded in Russia). Later the executive officer will find the note and will hang it on a pole of the way from the airport before Putin’s visit so the thing does not go in waste.
Yes, this is how it happened. And although Russian enforcers silently left the city on 20 December by tanks, but we, who were in KGB’s pre-trial jail, perfectly know that our prison was occupied by them. Behind the door we heard screams and punches – these were experienced Russian prison guards, who arrived with a special flight from Ustvymlag (and they have been wearing masks since Stalin times), were beating our native Belarusian prison guards so they do not follow the internal regulations. Our native prison guards, tied and thrown into penal cells, begged us for help: “Save us, brothers and sisters! Damn FSB torture us!”. And their flat screams and sobs, naturally, according to the laws of the genre came out through the walls. And we know for sure that they were ready to protect us for the sake of a dialogue and justice. Alas, the powers were not equal…
And, of course, political prisoners were released exclusively in the framework of a dialogue after the visits of Solana and Mladenov. Solana came in 2009 right after the arrest of Mikalaj Autukhovich and Mikalaj had the accusation re-qualified for an especially gravest crime. Mladenov came in 2011 and tortures of political prisoners started: Dzima Dashevich and my husband were locked in a closed type prison, Mikalaj Statkevich’s penal regime was changed for prison, later they added to the prison term of Dzima and sent Autukhovich to a closed type prison. He was the one who definitely experienced the consequences of the dialogue. He is now sitting in the prison in Hrodna and rejoicing: “If it was not for Solana and Mladenov and not the constructive dialogue of the West with Lukashenka, they could have executed me by shooting. How lucky I was with the dialogue…”
And we were all lucky, because by the efforts of Aliaksandr Milinkevich and other wonderful comrades Lukashenka may soon again become a persona grata in Europe, and then everyone will forget about the political prisoners with a great relief. It is not because Aliaksandr Uladzimiravich can influence anything, but because Europe really dreams to forget about Belarus as a hot spot and stop wasting paper on resolutions. Everyone prefers to hear what he/she wants. And any remark a-la “lift the sanctions, legitimize Lukashenka”, whoever it comes from, will be presented as the voice of the civil society of Belarus.
I only want to suggest to add the lacking scale to the project and appoint, for example, Belarusian Republican Youth Union as the civil society. Why not? These are not some Young Front marginal, who go to prisons and are expelled from universities for political activities. BRYU is our future. These guys quietly obtain education and make careers. It means that it is exactly them who will carry out reforms. Following the logic of respected Aliaksandr Uladzimiravich, they may start already tomorrow. And who will built European future in Belarus? Dashkevich? Autukhovich? Statkievich? May be, Alienievich? No, let them stay in captivity. They will later come from prisons when everything is ready, if they do not get prison terms added, right into the bright tomorrow, and do not they dare not to say thanks – the return way to prison is always shorter. And the dialogue of Lukashenka and the West has repeadtedly proven that.
Iryna Khalip, specially for charter97.org