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‘Mikalai Klimovich Realized He Would Never Leave The Colony’

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‘Mikalai Klimovich Realized He Would Never Leave The Colony’

An acquaintance of the deceased political prisoner told what kind of person he was.

On May 7, Belarusian human rights activists reported that political prisoner Mikalai Klimovich, a blogger from Pinsk, died in Vitsebsk Colony # 3. He was sentenced to a year in prison for a caricature of Lukashenka, despite the fact that Mikalai had a disability of the II degree due to his heart issues.

Pinsk activist Alena Voukava, who personally knew Mikalai, shared her memories of the deceased patriot of Belarus with the Charter97.org website:

— I myself come from Pinsk, but now for well-known reasons I now live in Warsaw. It will be three years on October 20. I have known Mikalai for a long time, together in Pinsk we belonged to a movement that was formed long before 2020. Mikalai has been involved in opposition activities since the 90s, he was a member of the Rada of the Belarusian Popular Front. During the protests of 2020, this person was always and everywhere with us.

Mikalai was a very decent, calm and balanced person. He lived alone, loved animals very much, saved dogs, fed them, as they say, shared his dinner with them. This despite the fact that the person was very ill and lived in very difficult circumstances, practically lived from hand to mouth and was in great need of both food and medical care. I repeat once again, he was a very good and decent person, that's how I remember him. Mikalai was not an upstart, but when it was necessary, he could both say and do. He was a proud man, he knew his human truth.

— Can you tell us more about his participation in the protests of the year 2020?

— Mikalai was very modest and never really poked anywhere. He was simply invisibly always present with us, went everywhere, was at all meetings. Even sometimes you may fail to notice, but Mikalai was there. That’s all.

As the director of the charitable organization Palesse Kindness, I sometimes donated food for him. My friend, journalist Tamara Keita-Stankevich, she communicated with him more closely, supported him, and was friends with him. Through her, I passed on the products and things that were needed. Mikalai being Mikalai, he always found an opportunity to come, no matter how bad it was for him.

When in February we found out that there would still be a trial for some minor things, we all waited for the verdict. And when they sentenced him to a real jail term, imprisonment, it was something inhuman. The lawyer at the trial showed all the necessary medical documents, that the person had a stroke, that he had a heart attack and needed medical care, which is necessary every day. Mikalai had 25-30% brain damage as a result of a stroke. It was very hard.

Although the sanction of the article provided for the same liberty restriction, and the lawyer insisted and asked for it, Judge Andrei Bachyla gave a real term of imprisonment. Of course, we are talking here about deliberate torture of a person. And most importantly, the Brest Regional Board of Judges upheld this verdict, despite the presence of medical contraindications, which were provided by the defense. Judge Bachyla certainly knew that Mikalai could die. And Mikalai, I think, knew that too. He knew that he would not be able to survive this year without the necessary medical care. In addition, Mikalai lived a very lonely life, he did not even have anyone who would pass parcels to him in prison. For him, this court decision was a sentence, it was actually the highest measure.

Behind every officer is a person. Judge Bachyla lost his young wife. She gave birth to a child and fell ill with cancer. He knows perfectly well all these medical verdicts and what they mean. He knew what it was like to face such a serious medical topic. And when, on the basis of the documents provided by the lawyer, such a verdict is still passed, knowing in advance that the person will die, this is dehumanization. I don't understand how this is even possible.

And this happens because no civil organizations are working. And how are they going to live without civil organizations, civil society, charitable organizations? There is only propaganda from Azaronak. The church doesn't work at all. I don't know what happens to people when they deliver such sentences.

Yesterday we talked with friends from Pinsk, everyone was just in shock. Of course, Mikalai understood that he would not get out of there, he knew this. In fact it was a murder, they are killing our people. Mikalai was not the first and not the last victim of the regime. They are aimed simply to destroy decent, kind, active people.

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