2 December 2021, Thursday, 9:30
Sim Sim, Charter 97!

All the More, We Won’t Forget and Won’t Forgive

All the More, We Won’t Forget and Won’t Forgive
Iryna Khalip

Please play this on repeat.

Moscow has changed with Sobyanin, and Lukashenka has made it younger. Alina Kasiyanchik, a junior assistant prosecutor, jailed another young woman. I mean Volha Sineleva, who prematurely terminated her apartment rental contract with the very same Kasiyanchik.

Of course, one could say she didn't even go to jail at all because Volha Sineleva was not sentenced to jail but two years of home arrest. At first, it seems to be no big deal. One should stay at home in the evenings and on weekends and open the door for the police every time of the day or night when they come to check on her. Remember that Volha is on maternity leave. And it means that she cannot go for a walk with her child on weekends and in the evenings. She will not be able to drop into a pharmacy if she needs something urgently. She must open the door at two o'clock in the morning if the police want to come. They do not care that it may wake the child up, or it is dangerous to open the door at night: who knows who might say "open, police!" All this mess will last for two years.

All Volha did was that she asked the prosecutor to find a new apartment. She neither told her to leave the apartment at night with her things nor demanded to vacate it within 24 hours. She waited till Kasiyanchyk found another apartment and then terminated the rental contract prematurely by mutual agreement. And after the successful move, the prosecutor wrote a statement demanding to initiate a criminal case.

Of course, Volha Sineleva will be released early. Maria Bobovich and Maxim Pavliuschik, whom Alina Kasiyanchyk sent to jail for the inscription "we will not forget" on the place of death of Aliaksandr Taraikouski, will also be free. And student Ilya Tananko, who wrote with a ballpoint pen "Balaba the murderer" on a furniture re-upholstering ad that hung on the bulletin board outside the entranceway where the riot police commander lives, will also be released earlier. And Belsat journalists Yekaterina Andreeva and Daria Chultsova.

During Katya's and Dasha's trial, I noticed Alina Kasiyanchik. The characters looked weird. We always want the evil was eye-catchy: let them be ugly, one-eyed, and with goat horns, so they were easy to identify. If young, pretty women who perform their professional duties are insolently charged by a young, pretty woman, it seems illogical, disharmonious, and absurd. I also thought about it. I imagined how, in peacetime, Katya and Daria and Alina Kasiyanchik could sit at the neighbouring tables in a café. Perhaps, one would have asked the other to pass the sugar or asked what time it was. They would have talked and could have become friends. Is that right? No, it isn't.

There should be no cognitive dissonance over the young jailing the young. The evil that has grown younger during a quarter of a century of dictatorship is normal. During this time, everything was destroyed, including education. Those who are currently rushing around, elbowing each other in order to take up positions in the courts, the prosecutor's office, the KGB or the Investigative Committee, are the young people who received no education. The diploma doesn't count. They are dark as the earth. They are ignorant and obscure. They go to Turkey and Egypt to vacation, not because it's cheaper, but because it's all Tagil. They feel comfortable in Tagil, in the scenery of the Ust-Vymlag, among those who remember Vyshinsky. Besides, their parents failed to explain to them in their childhood what is good and what is bad: either they lacked time or desire, or they did not see the difference. And those jailed by Kasiyanchik and people like her have had their views explained. That is the difference.

In due time, Leonid Filatov and his Fedot the Strelets hit not just the spot but a whole stratum of decades and countries on the map. Take it and quote it. Pretty soon, these young prosecutors, investigators and judges will justify themselves with a lack of education and, accordingly, of understanding. Moreover, they will defend themselves with Philatov's words: "Well, I have accidentally missed the right way, seriously! After all, I am a child of nature, albeit a bad one, but a child!" Will it serve as a mitigating circumstance? No.

This "no" we must remember and keep until those future trials. Otherwise, after winning our freedom, we can feel sorry for them and say: let them live, we do not mind, we are kind. But we can't do this. "We won't forget" was the inscription on the pavement that prosecutor Kasiyanchik assessed as worth two years in jail. Now, all the more, we won't forget, we won't forgive. Please, play it on repeat.

Iryna Khalip, especially for Charter97.org