Dividing political prisoners into categories looks like a betrayal.
It is unethical, dirty and a bit hypocritical, Mikalai Dziadok thinks. The political prisoner wrote it in a letter posted on the website abc-belarus.org. The full text of the letter is below:
I read the interview with human rights defender Aleh Hulak about the division of political prisoners into two categories: “prisoners of conscience” and “offenders”. Hulak gave to understand how they set priorities. They will demand the immediate release for the “right” prisoners and revision of cases for the rest. Taking into account the fact that for the last 20 years cases of political prisoners haven’t been revised due to pressure from human rights activists, we can suppose they won’t demand anything for the “second category”.
This decision is so controversial and cynical that one may wonder how people calling themselves human rights defenders could take it. Firstly, under our laws, absolutely all political prisoners are “offenders”, because, formally, we don’t have “political” articles. Almost all political inmates “used violence”: Someone broke windows during protests, someone beat police officers, someone called to do it, if we believe court decisions. Under which category Statkevich will fall?
How can human rights activists base on court decisions, when they are criticising our judicial systems day and night calling it “dependent, biased and politically motivated?
Turning to particular things: It is we and the Babruisk activists who “used violence,” as Hulak says. It means he believes the court and investigators, who had the only proof of our guilt – evidence of frightened “witnesses”, who gave evidence only to avoid imprisonment. In the case of the Babruisk activists, the court had their confessions obtained in an unknown way. No one of us pleaded guilty. That’s all the court had against us. On this ground Hulak dubbed us “wrong” political prisoners, though trials over post-election protests were recognised “politically motivated”. What a selective approach: I believe this, but don’t believe that…
His phrase “terrorist methods” about our cases drew my attention. These words were obviously taken from the reports of Savatskaya Belorussia newspaper and the Belarusian television. So, it becomes clear into whose hands he plays. I don’t make harsh and categorical judgments, but it’s obvious for all wise people who needs these decisions.
On the whole, these actions look like a betrayal. They recognised and supported us, but later received an order and changed their mind: “Save yourselves, guys.” It’s unethical, dirty and a bit hypocritical.