27 November 2020, Friday, 6:14
Sim Sim, Charter 97!

Iryna Khalip’s Address to the Belarusians Never Shown on TV

Iryna Khalip’s Address to the Belarusians Never Shown on TV
Iryna Khalip

The dictatorship will collapse. You'll see.

During the election campaign, the authorities were afraid of the candidate Iryna Khalip and refused to register her. Charter97.org publishes the speech of a well-known journalist. It will not be shown on BT TV channel.

Good afternoon!

My name is Iryna Khalip. I am a journalist, a former political prisoner and a wife of a political prisoner. It would seem that there is nothing to be surprised about with such an experience. Nevertheless, I still can't understand how to tolerate this condominium dictatorship for 25 years.

At first, it seemed that all this is not serious. An uneducated person cannot destroy the country, language, press, people's consciousness. Perhaps it was a mistake: we all thought it was not serious. We observed. We waited. We were adapting to the new conditions. It can't be for long, can it? We had to act already then. However, now it is not too late. It took a quarter of the century for us - a great part of life. This period of rule of mediocrity is just a short episode for Belarus in historical terms. The moment when the history of the new Belarus starts, not the fiefdoms of the collective farm invaders.

I remember how freedom of assembly was destroyed in our country. How those who took to the streets were arrested and sent to jail. I remember how the legislature and the elections were ruined, how the Supreme Soviet was dispersed and replaced by an obedient, stupid, unauthorized House of Representatives. I remember how the election fraud began, which became the norm. I remember how people stopped believing that the future of the country depended on them. I remember how entrepreneurship was destroyed. I saw an independent press being destroyed. Popular newspapers were closed one after another. I mean Svaboda, Naviny, Imya, Belorusskaya Delovaya Gazeta. Then the regime started killing journalists. I will just recall their names. Dzmitry Zavadski, Veranika Cherkasava, Vasil Hrodnikau, Aleh Bebenin. Their murders have not been investigated so far, as well as the murders of Lukashenka's political opponents. The murderers are not punished. How can they be if murderers sit in residences and offices, entangled with power and blood? Can they punish themselves? No, this is our task. Stop waiting for liberators to come from space and do everything for us. It is time to take responsibility. Together, we can turn our country into one people don't want to leave.

I want our country to be happy. We would bask in its happiness.

I want our country to be free. We would know that life is full of sense.

I want our country to be prosperous. We would easily complain about our minor problems, knowing that all of them are not insuperable.

I want our country to be loved by its people. We would fall asleep with a smile.

I want our country to be kind. We would know that we have something to rely on.

The dictatorship will collapse. It always happens. You will see it. However, the Eastern wisdom - sit on the bank of the river, and the corpse of your enemy once passes by - does not suit us. A quarter of a century has passed, so there is no time to sit idle. We need to act.

Long Live Belarus! For 25 years we have been pronouncing these words to make sure that we are still alive. I do hope we will soon be able to pronounce them not as a password, but as naturally as "good morning!" Mornings will be good, and days and nights. And life. However, we should work for it. Can we start...? Long Live Belarus!