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

Public figure, philosopher, and methodologist Uladzimir Matskevich, who has been behind bars since August 4, gave an interview to DW in writing.

Uladzimir Matskevich. Photo: Belsat

Matskevich noted that 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.”

Matskevich said that the regime had felt impunity, so it deals with everything that is a source of “any change, progress, a threat to dictatorship and arbitrariness.”

“Repressions against philosophers and intellectuals are characteristic of totalitarian regimes that claim to rearrange the world completely, while for authoritarian regimes, it is more of a mishap and a slip-up. But since the regime did that, it put itself next to the most inhuman regimes of the 20th century,” emphasized the political prisoner.

Responding to the question, how he sees the denouement of the current situation in the country, Matskevich said:

“The end result can be described in the words of Vitaly Silitsky, with which he titled his article ‘The dictatorship is collapsing’. To this, I can only add: “Amen”. Except that Silitsky did not live to see this inevitable event, and I cannot say when exactly it will happen.”

Matskevich has called on political leaders and all citizens of Belarus to unite. “And stop hoping for a miracle, for everything to happen by itself. The salvation of Belarus is in the hands of the Belarusians, and no one from the outside will do our job for us,” he added.

Uladzimir Matskevich was detained on August 4. He was charged with “organizing actions, grossly violating public order” (Article 342 of the Criminal Code). He is currently in detention center #1 in Minsk.