25 September 2018, Tuesday, 5:08
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No Resistance - No Air to Breathe

Iryna Khalip

Appetites of scoundrels are growing.

Jauhen Afnahel was detained on Wednesday and sent to prison in Akrestsina to serve another 15-day arrest. In prison he will be allowed to read the court's decision secretly adopted a month ago. Or a week ago or two, or on the eve. Who knows? After all, the Warning Action Jauhen was tried for took place more than a month ago. So there was enough both time and space for maneuver for punishers.

We already begin to confound dates: it is difficult to understand when, for what and for what period they will arrest. Mikalai Statkevich, for instance, faced 5-day arrest on August 26 for action of March 30. Then he was given an additional 15 days for the action on July 3, but unexpectedly he was released five days later and had 15 more days. September 22, he was again detained and released on October. Could you get this equation from the first time? Me not.

Mikalai Statkevich as well. From the very beginning he had a wrong formula: he used to think that he would serve 20 days. The authorities' objective is not to allow him to participation in the Warning Action of September 8. But he was released on the eve of it. So, the isolation before the action was not the option. It is much more important - to behave like a scoundrel to the very limit or even more. The arrest of Paval Sevyarynets on Wednesday evening is the most persuasive evidence.

He was sentenced to 15 days on October 2. But they did not arrest him. But ten days later when he met his pregnant wife from work, when they went shopping and were walking home in the rain and were dreaming about a cozy family evening, he was captured by two (or three, or four) people and his pregnant wife was standing alone with heavy bags in a rheumatic and wet darkness.

Everybody knows about the Sevyarynets grief; a few years ago their son died. And now when Volha Sevyarynets is pregnant again, there is a mask show in front of her; this is not police chaos, not judicial outrage. It's just meanness. It is not even the state one, but human. Because the scenarios of arrests, dates are ironed out by people. It is a complex, highly-paid, collective work to come up with an idea of a more sophisticated way to hurt not only the "enemy of the people" but his close relatives. Policemen, KGB officers, judges, field surveillance and informants without profession, KGB psychologists and creative workers. The more sordid the scenario is, the more lives they spoil, the more their bonus is, the sooner they awarded a promotion. Or even an extraordinary one. As laws are sordid here, so they want to do them even more sordid.

God forbid to recall the topic "earlier it was better and the water was wetter." It was bad earlier as well. It was always like this. At least, when a person went to a protest action he could assume that could "stay" there for other 15 days. "Or even more, like it happened in December, 2010, but it is not about that.) Now we are deprived of everything - our personal time, the possibility to plan dates, vacations, walks. We used to do it before. Now we have lost this right. They captured everything.

Let's imagine, you've finally invited a girl of your dream on a date. And you're arrested for participation in last year's action. And this girl will think that you're a liar. And she will never answer your call. Or, for instance, you have a baby. You finally decide to go to the sea with your family. You tell your child about the sea. And you paint it together. You buy a tube and a squirt gun. And on your departure day you are arrested on decision rendered in absentia. Fifteen days - the period you were going to spend on the sea. Or, for example, you have a thesis defense. Mom's birthday. Scheduled operation. State exam. There will be none.

First they seized our space, mutilated our cities and looted our homes. But their appetites are growing. Now they have seized our time.

No resistance can lead to absence of air to breathe.

Iryna Khalip for Charter97.org