26 March 2019, Tuesday, 20:11
For our and your freedom!

Leanid Kulakou: I Say ‘Long Live Belarus!’ Even In A Store


The patriotic slogan disrupted the scenario of the court hearing against the activist of the European Belarus.

Activist of the European Belarus civil campaign Leanid Kulakou said this, commenting upon his fine of $490 for the solidarity with political prisoners, for Charter97.org:

- On April 26, my allies from the European Belarus and I decided to hold our own rally in support of political prisoners during the Chernobyl Way. We gathered opposite the building of the National Academy of Sciences. There were seven of us. Some time after the start of the action, unfamiliar people approached us, whom we immediately identified as policemen. There were about 10 of them, if not more. Later, a policeman in uniform came up to us and said, like, people, this action is illegal, leave.

I want to note that the policeman, who wrote a report against us all, did not appear at yesterday's trial. In the report, he wrote that he allegedly "entered the service, saw a group of citizens and knew that there would be an unauthorized action." I told the judge that I want to ask a couple of questions to this policeman. Let him be summoned as a witness to the court. Predictably, I was denied in this.

I told the court that I do not trust the entire Belarusian judicial system. It’s not to be trusted. I applied for the recusal, the same thing was done by another activist of the European Belarus Maya Navumava, who was also standing trial for this action. Naturally, our petitions were rejected.

I was outraged that they incriminated us with shouting “Long Live Belarus!” What kind of a country is that if people are tried for patriotic slogans? And get punished with huge fines?

I told the judge that I say “Long Live Belarus!” everywhere and to everyone, even to a seller in the store. I can tell you this too. And she shouted right in the courtroom. I was supported by activist of the Belarusian Social Democratic Party (Narodnaya Hramada) Mikalai Statkevich as he answered me "Long Live Forever!". For this he was removed from the courtroom.

When the judge began to read to me my rights and duties, she said that I would address her "Your Honor" or "High Court". To which I replied: "You know, I cannot do this. I can call you "young lady", "Madam", "darling", but none of the Belarusian judges deserve to be called "Your Honor" or "High Court". If you find it necessary, then get me a criminal case, but I will not speak to you that way." The trial did not last long, about 20 minutes, everything was already planned there.

I want to say that as long as we all do not support each other, there will be complete lawlessness and arbitrariness in our country. I emphasize that we must be in solidarity, regardless of whether we know a person or not. If you see that a Belarusian citizen is in need and the system puts pressure on them, then you need to come and support. The more we support each other, defend before the lawlessness of the authorities, the sooner we will live in a free country.

I came to the court with a baggage because I wanted to get an arrest. I have no money for fines. Nevertheless, neither fines nor arrests will break me. I will never change. I will always come out to support people, to express solidarity. They cannot intimidate such activists as me.

I want to tell you that, in addition to everything else, they are trying to make me pay for being held in custody in the detention center for the second round. Last year, when I served a10-day arrest there in October, after my release, within a week I paid 15 rubles for my stay in the detention center. Naturally, I sent the payment confirmation to the department of corrections.

Now, after so many months, they started showering me with claims from bailiffs that I must pay a notary fee of 36 rubles. At first, I completely did not understand why. It turned out that I allegedly did not pay for the stay in custody, and they decided to collect the money from me through the bailiffs.

Not only that a notary fee is deducted from me, the letters came which said that I had to pay for my stay in the detention center again. When I came to the bailiff and showed the payment confirmation, he said: "You are right, but I cannot do anything. As a bailiff, I have to do what the detention center wants. You will pay, and then file a lawsuit against them." I was at a loss, and told him: "Why should I pay twice? What is the point? " These are our laws!

In general, I am threatened that because of these 36 rubles, which I simply do not owe, they will come to enlist the property. In general, the carelessness of the workers of this system is shocking! We pay, they lose bills and again demand payment. Circus! In this system the most real parasites work!