Updated at 10:32,27-07-2021

Farce as tragedy


If the opposition leaves the mock-election immediately, we might have one last chance to save the political prisoners, wrote Natallia Radzina, editor-in-chief of charter97.org.

Well played. One more year of conviction for Dzmitry Dashkievich. Despite the troubling reports from the Glybokaie reformatory about the pressure he has to endure, there was still hope that in December the political prisoner would be free. Not anymore. In the best case, he’ll be released in August 2013, and only if there are no new provocations, new trials and new prolongations of his conviction. And all of that will happen for sure, because the powers feel they can do anything with no consequences.

During the last year and a half in prison, Dzmitry Dashkievich has lost his mother whose heart couldn’t bear her son’s sufferings. His father is in extremely poor condition; he has cancer. The political prisoner himself is "badgered", thrown to an isolation cell, tortured, humiliated and mocked.

For someone all that might be just words on a website that writes so much about political prisoners. And for me, this is a memory that will always stay with me. Despair, so frighteningly grey and moist; absolutely no joy or hope; squalor everywhere, grief that seems to fill even the air; the guards’ shouts; desperate scream of cellmates at night; an attempt to preserve my senses in this hell. And that is just the KGB isolation jail, not the prisons in Valadarski street, in Zhodzina, the terrible isolation jail in Gorki, the jails in Vitsiebsk and Glybokaie that Dzmitry Dashkievich has seen.

I often ask myself a question: could my cellmates really forget all that? Could they forget the rattle of batons, fuss of tasers? Could they forget the tortures they’d been through, when they were kept naked in the cold, stretched, their hands twisted with handcuffs? But those who after the presidential election 2010 have been to the KGB jail, how can they spot so easily and graciously on the fates of those who didn’t get a chance to freedom?

Why some of them still, even after one week in the KGB jail, do not realize that we must fight this bastard – not play "tell the truth" or "vote", legitimizing the regime ready to destroy anyone in its way?

Or do they? And how about the circus with paperboard candidates and signature collection before the election to an institution that ceased its existence for 15 years ago, - is this a mere attempt to hype the omnipresent KGB? We all know that the KGB insisted that the opposition should take part in the so-called "parliamentary elections". Are you trying to trick the KGB? Or yourselves? Or Dzmitry Dashkievich’s dying father?

But you only trick the people of Belarus and the West, and nobody else. The Belarusians still haven’t understood where you’re going with your tactics, whether you partake a little bit, or half-boycott the voting. And the West, seeing your rat races, sends one toothless warning after another, and doesn’t dare move to actual sanctions against the regime that is marching freely on corpse.

As a result – yarmoshynas and shunievichs are invited to European capitals; the Vilnius court resolute to defreeze some of the bank accounts of one of the Belarusian dictatorship’s key sponsors; the terrible truth is revealed about Minsk OMON training in Germany right before the bloody crackdown of the demonstration against the fraud during the presidential election.

The moral degradation of some of the western politicians and some of the so-called oppositionists demoralizes the entire nation. And it kills political prisoners in jails, too.

Why are the powers so afraid of the boycott? Because the opposition holds the keys to the regime’s legitimization.

Remember 2008. The same characters took part in the "election" to the "chamber", and the dictatorship received multibillion loans from the IMF, which basically became its rescue.

In March, after the scandalous departure of the European ambassadors from Minsk, I talked to many diplomats and asked them why they came back. They replied: we left to protect the political prisoners, but then a number of opposition candidates joined the "election" despite their previous promises not to do that unless their fellows are released.

If the oppositionists leave the election race today, after the trial of Dashkievich, not waiting for September 15 or 23, there will be a chance to save the political prisoners.

The so-called "election" is in 26 days from now. If the participants of this shameless performance can fight their animal fear and immoral ambitions and remove their names from the "election", they might be able to save lives of Dzima Dashkievich, Mikalay Statkievich, Ales Bialiatski, Eduard Lobau and other innocent people.

Everyone has to answer for their wrong choices, to the people or to God.