Philosopher in prison: Uladzimir Matskevich to remain behind bars for another month

Uladzimir Matskevich’s being in custody has been extended for one month, until February 4, his asociates report on Facebook.

Uladzimir Matskevich is a prominent Belarusian philosopher and methodologist as well as a Belsat TV host and founder of the Agency of Humanistician Technologies. In addition, he was the first head of the board of the international consortium ‘EuroBelarus’.

He was detained on August 4 along with Ulad Vyalichka, the former head of the international consortium EuroBelarus, and analyst Tatsyana Vadalazhskaya, a coordinator of the Flying University. Their homes were searched; later, Vadalazhskaya and Vyalichka were released.

Book by imprisoned philosopher Matskevich presented in Warsaw

The philosopher is accused of ‘organising actions that grossly violate public order’ (Article 342 of the Criminal Code of Belarus). In accordance with Belarusian law, after the charge has been slapped, the authorities may keep a suspect in custody for at least two months. According to Matskevich, his charges did not contain any information of his acts or deeds, ‘not a single instance’.

“I understand that I was arrested because of my articles, statements, ideas, and thoughts, that is, I’m going to be tried for ‘malice’ according to Orwell. This is what best characterizes the current regime in Belarus,” he said.

The regime felt impunity, so it deals with everything that is a source of ‘any change, progress, a threat to dictatorship and arbitrariness’, the jailed scholar believes.

The Belarusian human rights community recognised Uladzimir Matskevich as a political prisoner. In early September, the 65-year-old-man who is being held in Minsk pre-trial detention centre on Valadarski Street was listed as ‘a person prone to extremism’. Being added to the above mentioned list means more severe treatment of an inmate and restricting their rights even in prison, e.g. there is a special place in the cell where such prisoner has to be when a jailkeeper enters; they are also expected to be regularly called in for preventive conversations.

Public figure Uladzimir Matskevich to be tried for Orwellian ‘thoughtcrime’