Vital Rymasheuski: This regime understands only the position of strength

What should be done for Belarusian political prisoners so they are released as soon as possible? And in general, what should be done? Where are the moral points of reference? These issues are constantly discussed by politicians, journalists and human rights defenders. We asked Vital Rymasheuski, one of the presidential candidates in the election 2010.

– You have spent a few months in the KGB detention center. What can you say about the conditions of detention of political prisoners, and about the pressure put on them? How would you comment on the situation of other political prisoners, what happens to them in prison?

– The situation of the political prisoners is tragic, there are threats, pressure exerted on their families, relatives, loved ones … But these are innocent people who do not participate in political activities. The authorities are threatening children (there are cases of violence against children of political prisoners). This means that today’s regime is criminal, immoral and has completely overstepped the bounds. These people have a mentality of criminals who know no boundaries. Even the world of crime has rules that do not allow the use of violence against the children of enemies.

I want to say that lives of people who are currently imprisoned (for example Autukhovich) are in danger. In Belarusian prisons nothing happens without a top-down order. This is particularly evident in the case of political prisoners. Violence is also used against ordinary prisoners, the prison administration does not comply with the rules, but in the case of political prisoners, everything is done on the command from the “top.” The current regime and personally President Aliaksandr Lukashenko are responsible for all of these violent actions.

What kind of action should be taken by the Belarusian society and the international community to hasten the release of political prisoners?

– The regime understands only the position of strength. It’s their mentality – the mentality of bandits. The Belarusian political forces should be combined with pressure from the international community and we should insist on the release of prisoners. I believe that we should use all possible means, except, of course, violence. It all should be done in a civilized manner.

We should not use methods that uses the current regime against us, but only pressure can contribute to the release of political prisoners. And when in opposition, will win the trend, whose representatives argue that we should be more loyal to the regime, that we should cooperate with it, and that the list of the officials who do not have right of entry to the European Union should be shortened, while we witness ongoing repression in Belarus, and there appear new political prisoners; this is the road that leads to the destruction of the democratic opposition and increase in the number of political prisoners.

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