24 September 2018, Monday, 3:45
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Volha Nikalaichyk: Authorities Are Nervous, It Means We Are Doing Everything Right

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VOLHA NIKALAICHYK
PHOTO: BNC

The activist intends to continue to protect Kurapaty.

Public activist, director and defender of Kurapaty Volha Nikalaichyk, who was released today after 10 days of arrest, has revealed the dteails of her detention to Charter97.org:

- They detained me on June 30 at 11.30. We with Dzianis Urbanovich and Barys Anikeyeu from Homel gathered for another round of the Kurapaty watch. It was the turn of the European Belarus. We left the house, did not reach the bus stop, as three police buses drove up to us. I note that they acted calmly. First I was taken to the Pershamaiski district police department, they did all the necessary paperwork, and then they delivered me to court.

At the trial, I was alone. Barys Anikeyeu was released after the medical examination. I gave him the keys to my house so that he would take care of the cat with the activists of the European Belarus and other my friends. I asked that before the arrest they let me out of the house to release a cat that could die while I was in jail, but they refused me. It's good that the allies helped.

I note that during the trial I defended myself sufficiently well. I was charged with the first "hooliganism" because of the inscription on the asphalt "Booze Barn on Bones", which was washed off with a hose three minutes after the appearance. The second "hooliganism" was for the inscription on the wallpaper at the restaurant "The NKVD Booze Barn is closed" and the third because I allegedly "beat" the client's car with fists and "insulted" him.

There was a video and it was very funny to watch how cynically the judge watched the record on which I did not hit the car, did not offend this Budko, who was, incidentally, not fastened and was driving at a speed of about 50 km per hour. He really went very fast, threatened our lives. All this, I stress, is clearly visible on the video. And so he wrote a statement to me. I will seek justice for years, sue Budko.

I call everyone to write mass statements demanding to judge those who sneer at the memory of the killed Belarusians, allowing to build an entertainment center in the security zone. I also plan to file a lawsuit against mass repressions against the Kurapaty defenders. We have already been run over by cars more than once. It seems to me that the drivers are in a group conspiracy against civil society activists. A driver must stop before the live shield, and they drove rith on to the defenders, as if they wanted to play bowling with us!

So, after the trial, I was taken to the Akrestin street detention center. I will say that nothing has changed there. In all the cells, there so-called "moon" - a night light - didn’t work. For 10 days I changed three cells and I can talk about it confidently. Imagine, six light bulbs of daylight are burning in the cell, which are not disconnected for a minute, either day or night. My eyes got very tired, I had headaches. You are under these lamps around the clock. According to the international law, this is considered torture.

I was very impressed by the neglected state of the center for isolation of law-breakers. From the repair there were only walls and iron plank beds, everything else fell into a terrible decline. It feels like the center is run by some head of a Soviet collapsed state farm. At that time everything was just as broken.

So, in the first cell I did not have hot water, and in the second one there was no cold water and I had to wash the toilet bowl with a bucket. In the third cell there was cold and hot water, but the toilet did not close.

It's terrible to look at mattresses and pillows. There are not enough pillows. In one of the cells there were three pillows on four beds . I gave the cellmates a vest that someone had passed me in a parcel. We called the pillows "loose", because we constantly had to stuff their insides back into a pillowcase. Prison inspectors, when they came in the morning, turned the pillows and mattresses upside down, so cotton fell out of them. Then you had to run around the cell and collect this cotton wool and stuff it back. This jailers had such a game with us.

I would stress a very important point. They grab everyone to throw them on administrative detentions and make them work on graveyards. During these 10 days, I heard many stories. A woman could walk after drinking a little on a holiday, and they would grab her and detain for some 7-10 days, while she had a job to go to. In general, they do everything so that people work for free at their objects.

Despite everything, I feel absolutely terrific. My companions met me, my dear friends. Now we are cooking soup here, bought sweets. I will go on duty to Kurapaty again soon.

You know, I have more serious values in life to worry about the loss of these 10 days. The authorities are nervous — it means we are doing everything right, we are good fellows. All those who came to meet me today and support me, as well as those who remained in prison are heroes. We are waiting for them and will continue our work.