20 September 2021, Monday, 5:22
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Maksim Viniarski: Behind Our Backs Are Those Who Never Left Trenches

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Maksim Viniarski: Behind Our Backs Are Those Who Never Left Trenches
MAKSIM VINIARSKI
PHOTO: NOVY CHAS

Millions of non-indifferent people have become the creative force of the protest.

Activist of the European Belarus civil campaign, political prisoner Maksim Viniarski has a birthday today. His sister Alena Tserashkova published a letter on Facebook that the Belarusian freedom fighter handed over the prison walls:

“Dear friends!

Thank you for coming to congratulate me on my holiday. Yes, I cannot shake your hands, but your support goes through the bars of the cage. I am extremely grateful to all of you, I am proud of our acquaintance and I hope that this is mutual. And since you are reading this letter, it means that you are my guest. So let the hero of the day make a speech.

It is no tragedy if a dictator considers a citizen his slave. It’s a tragedy when the citizen agrees with this. I am proud that there are no slaves among my friends. True, among them there are journalists, human rights activists, people of art - the gold fund of the nation, which the enemies of Belarus will not be able to plunder and destroy. And together with them - millions of non-indifferent people who, by the will of fate, have tried on the role of human rights defenders, journalists, bloggers, who have become the creative force of the protests.

In the accusations that are being brought against me, my friends, hundreds and thousands of Belarusians, dozens of volumes are devoted specifically to information resources and public pages. We are being tried for freedom of speech, freedom of opinion and belief and the constitutional right to receive, collect and disseminate socially important information, for the truth about what happened in 2020 and continues to happen now. Because the truth burns with hot iron, starting with a unified impulse - GO-A-WAY! - and ending with free elections of free people who themselves decide how and in what country they will live.

I am not surprised that the prosecutors in the courts only leaf through these volumes, read out selectively phrases taken out of context. The contemporary history of my people lives and breathes on the public pages - the history of hundreds of thousands of people, their voices, their creativity, their choice, and their life. This is an ocean of thoughts, ideas, which, intertwined with actions, have become a living history. And today no efforts of the regime can drain this ocean. The oil film of repression, the task of which is to strangle all living things, will sooner or later flare up in the fire of the people's anger, and what does not burn will disappear in the approaching storm.

Today it is not easy for everyone. But behind our backs are those who did not leave the trenches. Dzmitry Zavadski, Aleh Biabenin, Pavel Sheremet, who have become the embodiment of true journalism, come to life in our streams and reports. Valer Shchukin, Khrystsina Shatsikava, Yana Palyakova join the ranks of human rights defenders and volunteers. General Yury Zakharanka, who refused to take up arms against civilians, worries the conscience of the security officers. Fearless Viktar Ivashkevich stands on the square, and in each hand he has a flag, and next to him are Raman Bandarenka, Aliaksandr Taraikouski, dozens and hundreds of those who died but did not surrender. We will not forget about them neither on a bright holiday, nor on a day of sorrow.

I would like to shake hands with each of you. Alas, not today. But you know how fast time flies. And on the day of our Victory, we will be surprised: it will seem everything began just yesterday.

See you soon, friends!” writes Maksim Viniarski.

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You can support Maksim Viniarski by writing him a letter.

See the address for correspondence below:

212011, remand prison #4, Krupskaya Street, 99A, Mahiliou, Belarus

To Maksim Viniarski, born in 1981.