Aliaksandr Atroshchankau, ex-presidential candidate Andrey Sannikau’s press secretary, has decided not to return to Belarus, Nasha Niva reports.
Atroshchankau put his decision down to the serious possibility of recommitment. At the moment he is staying in Warsaw, Poland.
“On September 3, 2012 I was going back to Belarus after participating in an international conference. On my way back I was on “guerillas’ paths” taking a train in Russia. There was an attempt to detain, arrest or kidnap me on the train – I do not even know what way it should be properly called… Shortly before the train arrived in Minsk plain cloth policemen started to get in the carriage one by one. They were watching over me. I phoned Natallia Radina and my wife and told them that I might be arrested. But I managed to cheat these people and get away. In Minsk I did not even drop in at my place realising that they could be waiting for me there; I was thinking over routes of escape,” Sannikau’s press secretary said.
He did not elaborate details of his departure saying that “this way may be used by other people”. Atroshchankau intends to stay in Warsaw and participate in public activities for the benefit of Belarus, the oppositionist’s wife and son having joined him.
At that, the activist stressed that he was not about to claim political asylum. “At the moment I regard my stay in Warsaw as a long-term business trip,” Atroshchankau said.
At the beginning of September Zmitser Bandarenka, Sannikau’s aide, disclosed his decision of not coming back to Belarus. On October 26, 2012 it got about that Andrey Sannikau was granted political asylum in Great Britain.
On December 20, 2010 Aliaksandr Atroshchankau was arrested and put to the KGB predetention centre. In March 2011 he was sentenced to four years of imprisonment in a maximum-security penal colony for mass riot organisation. In September 2011 Atroshchankau was pardoned and released. Unlike Sannikau and Bandarenka, he did not file a petition for pardon to president Lukashenka.