Nasta Dashkievich: Zmitser will be welcomed from prison with goose with apples dish

Youth activist Nasta Dashkievich (née Palazhanka) experienced persecution for her political beliefs number of times, аnd her husband, leader of the “Young Front” Zmitser Dashkievich, is currently in prison in Grodno. Last year, on December 26 the couple took vows in prison. Even though they were planning to get married since 2010. Nasta Dashkievich told  in the Freedom Stalkers program the story of their love, prison marriage and about waiting for her husband.

It was the time of the presidential election, and it was the time when Zmitser did not want to hear about marriage. He was convinced that after the elections he will be imprisoned, and for him, the responsible man, it would be unfair to consider a serious relationship in such situation.

Later, when he was arrested, we both gave it another thought. And the prospect of loss of each other, because in Belarusian prison it is impossible to know what is awaiting for one – led us to a feeling that may be called panic, and a desire to be able to meet sooner. Hence, we decided to get married as soon as possible and fix the mistakes that we previously had made in our relationship. I was then arrested and threatened with 5 to 15 years of imprisonment. I shudder to think what at that moment Zmitser was thinking

And when I read his letters to my father, which he wrote when I was in the prison, it became clear that he was shocked by what was happening and what could become, as we had very little impact on these happenings. However, our parents, grandparents and great-grandparents happened to be punished to 25 years in the Gulag, and they managed to survive and come back. Fortunately today, the reality is different, but all in all who knows …

Before we got to the colony in Gorki where we were to get married, before we have prepared all the necessary documents, it turned out that he does not have a passport. Then began a long wait, and fighting for a passport to be able to see each other for ten minutes at a wedding.

I think that the authorities, these degenerates deliberately delayed moment of  marriage. They deprived him of  visits and packages. Now he is under the most severe rigour, in the harshest conditions, and all he got was the opportunity to talk with me for two hours through the glass. I took advantage of this opportunity immediately, for fear that for some little detail he will be again deprived of this possibility.

In early January, I came to prison in Grodno. He did not know about it because I wanted to keep it secret to avoid any complications. They brought him into the room where I was waiting for him. That was our only meeting for more than two years.

My decision to get married in prison was a challenge that I put to myself, and the most important thing in all that is to remember who is in a more difficult position. I am convinced that it’s harder to mothers whose children are in prisons, much harder than for a woman whose beloved  is behind bars.

I still dream about his release. I have no other dreams concerning Zmitser. Therefore, the moment of his release dreams to me  from the moment when he was detained in Minsk.

When we will meet – though I try not to think about it, because I know that it will be different from what I imagine. I dream sometimes that I’m going somewhere, and he mets me there. So whenever I go for exams or any other business, I always instruct friends what to do and where to find me if the authorities release Zmitser.

I am by nature an optimist, and Zmitser helds himself strongly. Even I do not know any longer who gives more support, I to Zmitser or he to me. And I know that awaits us beautiful future and what it will exactly be like, it’s irrelevant.

What will I prepare for our  meeting? In each letter Zmitser writes about goose in apples. I  would have to catch the goose and gather apples.

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