Lukashenka stages meeting with political prisoners in KGB prison
Absurd looking pictures from Minsk: Dictator Aleksandr Lukashenka met with about twelve political prisoners in the KGB prison for talks. The power over published pictures and the staging was of course Lukaschenka’s. According to the Belarusian telegram channel “Pul Perwogo”, which is close to the state, the meeting lasted four and a half hours. They talked about constitutional reform – the importance of which had been emphasised by Russian President Vladimir Putin at a meeting with Lukashenka in September. According to “Pul Pervogo”, Lukashenka declared in prison: “Our country lives under the slogan of readiness for dialogue.
Opposition leader Svetlana Tikhanovskaya, while in exile, declared: “Dialogue is not conducted in a prison cell”. According to “Pul Perwogo”, Lukashenka also said to the prisoners: “Half of you here are lawyers and know you don’t write the constitution in the streets.” The most famous prisoner at the meeting in the KGB prison was the bank manager and politician Viktor Babariko, who wanted to run against Lukashenka in the presidential election. Babariko’s arrested son Eduard – he was his campaign manager – was also there. Also arrested were the lawyer Lilija Vlasova of the opposition “Coordination Council”, the arrested lawyer Maxim Snak and the arrested political advisor Vitali Shkliarov. Maria Kalesnikava of the “Coordination Council” was not among them, and was taken to the prison in Shodezina, some 55 km east of Minsk. Svetlana Tikhanovskaya assessed Lukashenka’s prison visit as a success of the social pressure caused by the ongoing demonstrations. At a meeting with Chancellor Angela Merkel in Berlin, she had appealed for German support. For the first time she was able to telephone her imprisoned husband Sergei Tikhanovsky. In Berlin, she also met Belarusians who are holding numerous solidarity demonstrations for the democracy movement in the German capital.
Foto: Alexander Kordjukov, © personal archive of the Kordjukovs
The ISHR had already drawn attention to the case of Alexander Kordyukov, who witnessed his friend Genady Schutov being fatally hit by gunfire in Brest. According to the ISHR group, Kordyukov was arrested in Brest because he was a witness. He faces trial and many years in prison. According to a statement by Belarusian ISHR members: “We met with Marina, Alexander Kordyukov’s sister, on 3 October. The about 40 year old sister agreed to talk about the misfortune in the family. The wife and mother of the detainee are in a completely depressed state and in a trance because of his arbitrary arrest”. Alexander Kordyukov had been transported to a prison in Minsk: “He is waiting there for the trial. The relatives are denied a personal meeting (…) At present, Alexander Kordjukov’s family is bearing considerable costs for lawyers… Belarusians have very low salaries and pensions (the standard pension is 100 euros per month, the standard salary 150 euros). Kordyukov’s parents are pensioners, while his wife, who works as a teacher and is also called Marina, is now raising her 10-year-old son alone. His sister wants to thank the unknown caring people who helped the family to pay the bills for August and September. As I left the meeting, the red-wrinkled eyes in the sister’s pretty face stuck in my memory”. The ISHR is in contact with this and other families who need help because family members are being held indefinitely. We ask for your donation so that we can help.
Keyword for your donation: Belarus – family assistance (36)
Photo: Maria A. Kalesnikava, © Michael Leh
Please support Maria A. Kalesnikava – Send her a greeting and encourage her. Maria A. Kalesnikava has lived in Stuttgart for a long time and speaks German very well.
Even if the mail is not handed over to her, the prison officials realize that she is not forgotten here. (Postage: postcard 0.95 Euro, standard letter 1.10 Euro, with
registered mail +3,50 Euro). The address is:
To Maria A. Kalesnikava
Pre-trial Detention Center / remand center
vulica Savieckaja 22 A
222 160 Žodzina