Natalia Radzina: I hope Europe will learn from Bialcki’s case

Radzina, an independent journalist and a political refugee, commented for Belsat on the controversies surrounding the information exchange between Lithuania and Belarus, and her escape from Belarus.

Radzina escaped Belarus in March, she spent few months hiding from Belarusian secrete services in Moscow. Than she entered the EU. The journalist asked for a political asylum in Lithuania, where an independent news website Charter97 has moved their editorial office.

„Long-distance coordination of the editorial office is extremely difficult. I’ve been doing it from Kobryn and Moscow, but now I can join my colleagues and work efficiently. I had to leave, because I could not continue my work in Belarus. In 2010, the authorities have done everything to stop our website. We went through searches, harassment and four criminal cases, one with charges punishable with 15 years in prison.“ – said Radzina, who is an editor-in-chief of the Charter97 website.

The journalist feared that Russia could have handed her over to the Belarusian secrete services. „Russian and Belarusian secrete services cooperate. So I tried to avoid public places or contacting anyone who lives in Moscow. However, taking into consideration that Russia let me out without problems, I assume that the Russian authorities had no intention of handing me over to Belarus.“ – said Radzina.

She also hoped that Europe will learn from the incident of Lithuania passing information on Belarusians‘ bank accounts of to the authorities in Minsk. The result of this information exchange is detention and charges of tax evasion against Ales Bialacki, head of the Human Rights Center „Viasna“|.

– Cooperation with the regime is impossible. It’s high time Europe moved from declarations to actions. It has to be understood, that Europe should have nothing to do with the Belarusian dictator and I’m talking about both legal and economic cooperation – concluded Natalia Radzina.


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