When I called to Borisov to former political prisoner Aliaksandr Malchanau, the district of Minsk faced a record heat wave. Hence, our conversation unwittingly moved from the dictatorship to the rivers and lakes of our country. But the heat was going to be short and life goes on, and so far there is no forecast for human rights in the country …
I was glad that despite all the experiences of Aliaksandr Malchanau his voice sounded briskly and confidently.
– Aliaksandr, did you manage to find a job after you were released from prison?
– It’s not that simple. My friends promised me to help with the job, but I would have to move to Minsk. I’m going to do that in the second half of August. I do not think that it is impossible to find job in Borisov. It is, however, low-paid work, and for people with low qualifications.
– How are you treated by your fellow citizens?
– I would say that I have not met with a negative attitude towards myself.
-The authorities do not use repressions against you, do not organize provocations?
– No, they do not use repressions, and they do not arrange provocations. But every night the police checks me three times. To make sure I’m at home. This is of course a bit stressful, but I have nowhere to hide in the house.
– So, when are you going to Minsk?
– I have to follow the procedures. I’ll have to write a proposal, in which I justify the situation and ask for permission. I should be allowed, there are no contraindications.
– Aliaksandr, do you have regret that for a second year in a row you were not recognized as a political prisoner?
– I assume that who is recognizing who for whom is an individual thing. The fact is that I am not a criminal, and that is for sure. And I do not find any sense in having resentment towards someone.
– Do you plan to engage into politics? Or maybe you plan to leave the country?
– No matter what, my views have not changed. I have not changed one iota. I cannot say today whether I would avoid any political activity or not. I’ll probably deal with what I was doing earlier. I have no such plans to leave the country. I will stay in my homeland.