22 July 2019, Monday, 22:18
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Zmitser Bandarenka: Aleh Was Real Leader

ZMITSER BANDARENKA

European Belarus coordinator – about the founder of Charter97.org.

On June 14, the founder of Charter97.org Aleh Biabenin would have turned 45 years old.

The European Belarus civil campaign coordinator has shared his memories about Aleh Biabenin:

– Aleh was my good comrade-in-arms and colleague. I will not dare say that he used to be my very close friend, because despite all his extraversion and unique communicative abilities Aleh used to keep things on his mind.

Many things were done together. Belarus may not be free today because Aleh is not here with us. At least the fact that the resisting activity of Belarusians has decreased lately, in my opinion, is connected with Aleh's death as well.

In the KGB prison, those who interrogated me said: "You know that there's a reason behind Aleh Bebenin's death". When I wondered whether they confessed to his murder. They replied that they were innocent.

I want to say that the case will be investigated. It will definitely happen.

I also want to point out that Aleh used to be one of the leaders of the Belarusian resistance. Once we had a talk and he said: "I'm a Russian, I'm the son of a Soviet officer, and I'm afraid that if nationalists in Belarus come to power, I'll be a foreigner". I replied: "Aleh, it's complete nonsense. The situation in Belarus is that if you want to be a Belarusian and a leader of the Belarusian resistance, you will be one".

He accepted it and it became his life. He knew that it was his country, his fight and he fought for our common victory.

Perhaps, I see my task as the achievement of our goals Aleh was fighting and living for - to make Belarus free and independent and to return free journalism to our country.