Dzmitri Dashkievich will be released on August 28. His sentence time expires. Relatives and loved ones are eagerly awaiting his release. The wife of a political prisoner Nasta Dashkievich in an interview with palitviazni.info talked about their expectations and preparations for future together.
– Nasta Dashkievich: Preparations are underway. Now we do apartment renovation. We can say that we are preparing a new life. We plan all via letters. I look forward to his release.
– Is correspondence with Dzmitri limited?
– Nasta Dashkievich: Mail is today the only real way of communication with Dzmitri. Sometimes it is possible to obtain some information after Dzmitri’s meeting with a lawyer.
– Some of the Belarusian independent media have devoted a number of publications to prison in Grodno which is notorious for its very strict conditions. Do you know in what conditions Dzmitry is being kept?
– Nasta Dashkievich: Dzmitri does not complain on the conditions. So it is hard for me to say anything about it. But I think that after his release he will tell about it in more detail. On the other hand, the prisoners are not allowed to write in letters about the conditions in cells, because the correspondence is subject to censorship. From what I know, Dzmitri is in a cell alone. But, in his article “The Worm”, published in Nasha Niva, and on the Internet, he describes various features of the prison system. His account is horrifying. That is the reality. Yet Dzmitri is always looking for good sites even if they do not exist.
– Zmitser will be released soon. Has there appeared a new wave of repressions against Dzmitri aiming to force him to sign a request for clemency?
– Nasta Dashkievich: No. After his sentence was extended, no one requested him to sign such a document.
– The aim of imprisonment of the opposition members is to not only to intimidate the public, but most of all, is to break prisoners’ spirit. From time to time we receive information about the methods used in prisons, or more precisely, of torture used by the administration of prisons to prisoners. In your opinion, what the prison administration is capable of?
– Nasta Dashkievich: I think that not much has changed since the Soviet era. Prison administration uses degrading practices for human dignity. Various methods are used to break a man. Sometimes they succeed, and someone agrees to make compromise against his conscience. Or a person is deliberately herded into a situation that negatively affects his/her life, decisions, reputation. There are people who are broken in prisons, there are also those who have preserved their dignity in the face of this hard test. It all depends on the person. I am very proud of Dzmitri because they failed to break him, he withstood everything. I know well the state of his spirit, his views remain unchanged. From the correspondence I know how he feels and I see that any move of the government is pointless. And I hope that sooner or later they will cease this practice.
– Do ordinary Belarusians support Dzmitri who was sent behind bars for his political views and activities? How many letters come to Dzmitri? Does he meet with aid, including financial, from people who are indifferent to his fate?
– Nasta Dashkievich: Of course, solidarity is something important, and all the time we experience it. People are sending a lot of letters to Dzmitri. He received many wishes on his birthday. Notwithstanding the fact that Dzmitri was isolated by the authorities, he manages to make new acquaintances and even close relationships. This is very important. It often turns out that not only Dzmitri is a person who is supported, but he also supports people outside prison. Therefore, I can honestly say that there is solidarity in Belarus. Conditions in the country reduce its occurrence often only to letters, but it’s still a great deal. We cannot go to a meeting, we cannot organize street protests, people in cities have not seen posters with the faces of political prisoners, but there is still a real human, sincere and genuine solidarity. It is there and it is something very important.