16 December 2017, Saturday, 2:41

Uladzimir Niakliaeu: I Carry ‘Emergency Bag’ With Me Everywhere

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Uladzimir Niakliaeu

One of the leaders of the BNC believes that it is necessary to pay attention to the lawlessness of the authorities.

Poet and one of the leaders of the Belarusian National Congress Uladzimir Niakliaeu told Narodnaya Volya why he walks around the city with an "emergency bag."

As it became known, the Minsk city court upheld the decision of the Leninski district court in the "Niakliaeu case", which is 10 days of an administrative arrest.

On November 1, poet and politician Uladzimir Niakliaeu was sentenced to 10 days of administrative detention for the words "If there is a will to defend one's rights, then one must go and defend them". He said this on October 16 on air for the Belsat TV channel, referring to the Outraged Belarusians’ March 2.0, in which Niakliaeu did not participate:

"They did not send me to jail to serve the sentence straightaway after the trial, so now I go and wait until they grab me and throw me behind the bars," — Uladzimir Niakliaeu says. — After all, apparently, nothing else can be expected from them. Still, now I'm going to appeal to the Supreme Court. And not so much in the hope that the decisions of the previous instances will be abolished, but rather to show that in our country people are being sentenced already for public words and for a civil position. This is becoming a habit in Belarus. If we do not resist this and attract attention to such lawlessness, then we will face the paralysis of all the social life.

— When can they, as you say, “grab” you?

— Any moment, there’s no grace period. This creates a certain discomfort for me, and the authorities are waiting for a convenient moment to throw a person behind the bars. Therefore, I am prepared to such situation, and expect it to happen every day. The other day, I was in the Embassy of the Netherlands with a visit , and the Ambassador was surprised that I was wearing some rags. In fact, I am wearing the “prison clothes” everywhere I go, as I never know whether I would be home this night. I also always have a bag with the things which maybe in use during detention, with me.

— A sort of an “emergency bag”?

— Exactly. In the bag there are hygiene items, a shaving machine, medicines, and I choose to wear the appropriate clothing. After all, if you are sent to jail in a white shirt with a tie, this is not the most comfortable clothing in which you can lie on the bunk. Last time, they took me to the Center for isolation of law-breakers without medicines, and I almost died there. So I do not want to repeat history.