Kurapaty remains a spiritual Rubicon for the entire Belarusian nation.
Movie director and the European Belarus activist Volha Nikalaichyk, tried by the authorities for a call to prayer, told Charter97.org about the circumstances of her detention, and commented on the vandalism of the authorities in Kurapaty. She also suggested what the main initiator of the “cross demolition” should think about:
- I have a tradition: I try to plant flowers in Kurapaty every year. On the day when the national prayer was announced there, I also had them with me.
I planted tulips and stayed for the prayer. I was on my way home when I saw a silver minibus driving down the hill towards me. I can't imagine how they drove over the curb, it's very high.
The minibus stops at full speed and I'm detained. At that moment I was on the phone with Maksim Viniarski. All I could say was, “Max, I'm being detained”. They twisted my arms, grabbed my phone and took me away.
Then I was put in another minibus and my feet were cuffed. A sadistic policeman laughed in my face, showed me handcuffs and said “Look what I have for you”. I burst with anger and I told him I wasn't a monkey to enchain me.
They made an administrative offense protocol with regard to me in the Pershamaiski district police department. The document clearly stated that I was detained “for calling for the prayer on Facebook”. I couldn't help but say that they were savages and servants of Satan.
I tried to appeal to their conscience and soul: “Think of your children. What are you doing? I do not threaten you, but there is God above us. I just feel sorry for your children”. There was no reaction.
Later, I was taken to the Akrestsina Street detention facility and put in an overcrowded cell. I was on the upper bunk bed. It was not comfortable to climb there, as it has no place to lean on. Leanid Kulakou hurt his leg when climbing up this bunk bed, and I hurt my back in the same situation a year ago.
I just said I wouldn't climb there and I went on a hunger strike to protest. All night long I had to sit on a bench. Only after my protest I was allowed to occupy the lower bunk bed. I did not stop my hunger strike, because I was arrested for a prayer, it's a matter of principle for me.
There was a bully among the prison guards, who threw at me with that foul language. Imagine, she is only 25 years old. Everyone called her a “fascist”. Only when I snapped back at her, she shut up. She really reminded me of some NKVD officer.
Then I was taken to the solitary cell. There were no more conflicts. I just refused to eat, though they tried to force me. Apparently, they got scared.
In the morning of April 8th, I was taken by car to the district police department. It was a “Repair service” car. The driver was wearing the repair service uniform. Imagine, they force strangers to participate in their crimes.
From bad to worse though. I was taken to the trial in a minibus, the accompanying car was driving nearby. In total, I was guarded by 10 policemen. They got out of the car first and began to look for “our people”, because the activists called for the support of those who would be tried for prayer. Only after the police checked the hall, there came the command, “Go, everything is clear”.
It turned out that my comrades were deceived - the police told them that I was in the Minsk district police department. People were waiting for me there, they wanted to support me. My relatives and family members were worried, even my old mother did not know where I was.
This attitude angered me. I am not some kind of a canary-bird, not a member of the Komsomol, not an athlete, not a bodybuilder, so that ten huge policemen are needed to guard me, and my whereabouts must be kept secret.
Judge Yury Harbatouski asked me: “Have you called people to a prayer service?”
I answered him that it was not a call, it was informing, and asked him: “How does a call differ from informing?” He answered with a question: “Who allowed you to invite for prayer?” Hearing these words, I almost fainted from outrage and four-day hunger strike.
I told him that if he did not understand that God gives rights to a person, then I had no more questions to him. Do what you want, everything is clear to me. I am very glad that our “valiant” police for so many years learned how to take screenshots on computers.
I was sure that they would arrest me, and very much worried that I did not have drinking water. After all, the tap water in the cells is not always good, it often comes with bleach, or is just hot. However, it was a $ 417 fine.
- How do you comment on the fact that you were fined for the post on Facebook, in which you informed people about the prayer service? Is it forbidden to pray in our country?
- If the regime is afraid of information about prayer on Facebook, this means that they absolutely do not control the situation. If they think that they will intimidate us by fining for the posts in social networks, then this is a big mistake, which shows that the authorities do not develop even at their limited level. Appealing to the prohibition of posts in social networks is the last thing when you have no idea what to do.
If a schoolboy writes a verse about the white-red-white flag and publishes it on the Internet, and the entire repressive machine is sent to get him, then “not everything is so good in the Danish kingdom”. Fear has reigned in high offices for a long time.
- Why did the authorities dare for such vandalism in Kurapaty?
- I have a feeling that they want to demolish all the crosses, put a fence in the stove, leave this NKVD tower alone, which they call “monument”, and that's it. And then they will tell everyone that “we have beautified the territory out there.” Everything that happened in the stove reminded me of the story by Russian writer Fyodor Sologub “The Minor Demon”. The environment of Lukashenka reminds of small demons, whose souls are tormented and have no rest. Take a look at what they did with Nina Bahinskaya - this is some kind of mixture of Stalinism and fascism. The fact that a 72-year-old woman, who often loses consciousness, is detained by a dozen blockheads, shows that this power simply has no limits for atrocities. These die-hard bulls that grab a tiny old lady and drag her into a minibus are the true heirs of the Gestapo and the NKVD.
The same people once abducted Zakharanka, Zavadski, Hanchar and Krasouski. They would love to do the same with us, but the people who come out to the square prevent this from happening.
I am disgusted by the fact that Belarus appears somewhere in the world news when it comes to holding the European Games, and our authorities have such a vile and lowbrow face.
I am very surprised by these “European games”, the chancellors-on-tour who come to our country, shake hands with Lukashenka, and then Kurapaty is destroyed. You should not flirt with this ugly creature at power, as he has long been in the hands of petty demons.
- In your opinion, how can such war with faith and memory end for the authorities?
- Just today I discussed it with my friends. Kurapaty is a spiritual Rubicon for all Belarusian people. Theomachy in a Christian country cannot end in anything good. All Christian denominations unanimously reacted to the blasphemy in Kurapaty. Lukashenka has seen it and will continue fighting with faith. I think that in this country they will soon detain people in the Akrestsin Street detention facility for wearing a cross on their neck.
But you know, as my grandmother used to say, “God sees all and knows all”. Lukashenka infringed the territory of the spiritual, metaphysical sphere. We need to continue doing our work, and then God will act. The dictator needs to think about the disgraceful ending of Stalin the blasphemer. There are areas which it is better not to mess up with, if you do not want people to spit on your grave after you are dead.