23 September 2017, Saturday, 8:38

Mikalai Charnavus: The Regime Tries to Pigeonhole Patriots as Criminals

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PHOTO BY RADIO SVABODA

Everyone should contribute to the recognition of defendants in the Patriot case as political prisoners.

Baranavichy activist and individual entrepreneur Mikalai Charnavus told Charter97.org about it.

- What could you say about the Patriot case? Is there any political dimension?

- I declaim against activities of the authorities, guys did their job and now they are pigeonholed as "criminals". It proves that the regime is scared. In 2010 we saw the way it was done by the Lukashenka's deputy whose car had been shot in in 1994. Now, on the eve of a historic moment, a Jeep is breaking through the Ukrainian border with hoax explosive devices - the authorities are surely scared.

It is getting harder to fool people, they learned through a series of painful incidents. It is clear that old ladies in villages may take at its face value, but attempts to fool people have failed.

- Why is it important now to recognize defendants in the Patriot case as political prisoners?

-First of all, it is necessary to rely on our own strength. We will do our best to make the recognition of guys as political prisoners possible. Now human rights defenders and activists have signed a declaration recognizing all detainees in the Patriot case as political prisoners, and we will do our best and sign everything. Solidarity is of high priority, the authority is scared now.