The leader of the Young Front, Dzmitri Dashkievich was released from prison on August 28. Political prisoner has announced his intention to leave the Young Front. Is he still planning to enter politics, or engage in social activities? Such a question Palitviazni.info asked to Dzmitri himself.
Dzmitri Dashkievich: Of course I intend to continue my socio-political activities. As for the form, currently I cannot say much about it.
– Even before the release from prison you have received preventive supervision. To what extent these limitations bother you?
Dzmitri Dashkievich: It looks like this: I’m not allowed to leave the district of Minsk, every day from eight in the evening until six in the morning I have to be at home. Generally speaking, I am not being provoked. I was informed that police officers can visit me up to three times a night. For now, it is quiet. I do not provoke the situation, nor am I provoked.
– Dzmitri, what do you think about the changes in the socio-political situation in the country? Do you see any major changes?
Dzmitri Dashkievich: We can see that the Belarusian regime loses its grip on reality. Until 2010 Lukashenka sought to build some trust in voters, today after all the economic disaster he has began to give up appealing to the public opinion. He focused mainly on the economic mafia within his environment, oligarchs supporting regime and apparatus of coercion. He ceased to be interested in what people think, and is capable of any initiative. He may commit any deed, in the style of mass confiscations of livestock, taking a hundred dollars for each trip out of the country, as desired. At the end, he has no interest in public opinion. And speaking of people’s attitudes, about their desire to change, then nothing has changed dramatically. The level of apathy is the same, although there is a possibility that I’m wrong.
– Probably from 2010 the change includes the dissemination of information about the situation in prisons, detention centers, in the situation of political prisoners, and others. How often do you meet with the described phenomena?
Dmitry Dashkevich: I met with this, and I think that it is no new information that people are being beaten there. So it was five and ten years ago. When people are made to eat in prison with Toothbrush container, I think it’s a form of torture and harassment. Despite the fact that the Department of Penitentiary says all this is done within the law. The attitude towards people in prisons is of interest only to prisoners themselves or their families. The other exhibit in this area indifference.
– Do you consider this state of affairs to be acceptable? On the one hand, it is clear that corrupt officials do not raise sympathy. On the other hand, a man goes to prison just for having a different political views from the leadership of the state.
Dzmitri Dashkievich: I believe the topic to be fairly complex. Let’s honestly admit: who’s imprisoned for whose sake? I was imprisoned for my views. With me, there are dozens, hundreds of people. These people have supported me when I was free as well when I was behind bars. I do not want to dramatize, as some people do, claiming that I was imprisoned for the sake of nation, for the people who betray me. This is a schizophrenic approach – here I am doing something for the nation, and the nation betrays me. If the society does not stand for a man, does not follow him, it means that he does not realize the interests of the public. You have to look reality straight in the eye.
– However, manifestation of solidarity, especially mass solidarity, helps. For example, during your incarceration society learned from the media about your torture and ill-treatment, which caused a number of requests to the government, exerting pressure on it.
Dzmitrij Dashkievich: The authorities are afraid of, it’s obvious. For example, in the Mozyr prison, which is the worst prison in Belarus. When I got there, I was given to understand that I’m nothing … No paper will accept the words that were used to address me. They threatened me that they would drown me in concrete, that no one needs me. And then, when they saw the waves of support, telegrams from ambassadors, diplomats, international organizations and ordinary people who supported me. They were not happy that I was transferred to their prison. Therefore, for the prisoners, this kind of support is invaluable.