The Ice Hockey World Championship is over. Bison Volat, the official mascot of the tournament, has left for the Byelavyezhskaya Pushcha, foreigners are packing their bags, “the Akrestsin team” are quietly going home, and activists who wanted to avoid preventive arrests began creeping out of their holes. Palitviazni.info learned what life like was during a hockey “celebration” for those who were fortunate not to become the hostages of the championship.
Dzmitry Kavalhin, Pavel Vinahradau, Artur Finkevich unanimously say: the first thing that comes to mind when they hear the phrase “the World Hockey Championship” is preventive detentions of dozens of their friends and acquaintances. The Belarusian team got to the quarterfinals, for two weeks Minsk looked like a European city with lots of tourists, but the championship should not cost so much. And what is meant here is not spending money.
If the hockey celebration is to blame for this article, let’s not spare praises for our activists and award them on a pedestal for the highest degree of ingenuity and uncatchability.
The rating of the lucky ones is opened by… Pavel Vinahradau. This time, the record holder in the number of prison terms not just avoided getting to Akrestsin Street, but managed to get a month’s vacation! However, he had to pay for this by an extension of preventive supervision by six more months, but the leader of the Zmena movement is not discouraged, laughing merrily when telling his story:
– When going to check in at the criminal executive inspection, I felt that I’ll soon start swearing and will go to jail. However, the inspector voiced a more alluring proposition: either a stay in Akrestsin Street, or writing an application to leave Minsk until June 3. I thought hanging in Berazino was cooler than in Akrestsin Street and chose a rest. My father and grandmother live in Berazino. I am very glad that it happened this way, it’s cool here: a swimming pool, a sauna, no Minsk fuss.
An activist of the UCP’s youth wing “Young Democrats” was the smartest. Dzmitry Kavalhin, according to advice from human rights defenders, took a “five-day leave at his own expense”. The activist left the city, planted potatoes and did other useful things, and when he returned five days later, the authorities did not bother him any longer. Kavalhin does not forget about his colleagues who had much worse lives:
– I know guys who had not served their arrests, so they were looked for not only before, but throughout the World Hockey Championship. Such a situation occurred with Anton Zhylko, he is still hiding.
Dzmitry believes that the unprecedented activity of the authorities before the World Champ makes people who had never planned to rally think of protesting.
– The police and the KGB are hulking structures of retired officials, and the young mobile patriots have better wits. Everyone understands that they cannot jail all of us!
The title of the Elusive Joe goes to the leader of the Young Belarus Artur Finkevich. The police were interested in Artur’s whereabouts throughout the championship – “shadowed at the entrance regularly”, even two days before the end of the tournament they once again came to his apartment. As an experienced member of the opposition, Artur Finkevich has not disclosed his hiding places, but noticed that having a lot of friends is great, and that he now has to work later not to cause discomfort to anyone.
During the Ice Hockey World Championship, the police actively hunted representatives of other parties and civil society movements. The policemen were looking for Maryna Khomich, Yahor Viniatski, Ivan Shyla and Ilya Shyla, they also inquired about Franak Viachorka and others.
Photo by nn.by