‘He will never negotiate with anyone’ : Tsikhanouski describes meeting with Lukashenka

Syarhei Tsikhanouski has sent a letter in which he described the conditions of his detention in Zhodzina prison and his impressions of his meeting with Lukashenka in the KGB pre-detention center. The letter was received by the TUT.BY journalist.

Syarhei Tsikhanouski wrote the letter back on 24 December, but it came only on 6 January.

“As for the detention conditions, they are, on the whole, tolerable. They don’t torture me in Zhodzina the way they do in Valadarka and haven’t put me in a punishment cell yet. I have been alone in my cell for almost five months now and I only watch BT, ONT and STV, but until 6 pm, as the rules prohibit it later. The rest is like with the other prisoners,” says the blogger.

Tsikhanouski wrote about his impressions of meeting with Alyaksandr Lukashenka in the KGB detention center last October.

“You can’t even imagine what he’s capable of. He personally commands weekend detentions at protests (elections are no exception). He even listens to my conversations with my lawyer in the detention center, violating attorney-client privilege. Three times [at the meeting] he called me the future president and at the same time looked at Viktar Babaryka in order to influence him and make a split. He openly said that politics is a dirty business, that when you took up politics, you had to be prepared that you could have money planted to you, or set up a provocation, like in Hrodna, or put in jail. He explicitly said that it was in his power to keep us in jail or not. He said that those who would “cooperate” would get out. He said that two of them would get out tomorrow. He said that he wanted to release me after the elections and throw me and Sveta out of the country, but after listening to my conversation with a lawyer in the pre-trial prison, where I was saying that I must not forgive and that the family of the dictator, “deputies” and jealous criminals must be brought to justice, he put me in a punishment cell.

He will never negotiate with anyone. Power is a guarantee of his security. And there is no law in the country, only his will. And, like he said, he will defend it with all means at his disposal. And the funny thing is that this has always been the case. But it hasn’t been so massive, because there hasn’t been such mass protests. He will stop at nothing, do not even doubt it,” writes Syarhei Tsikhanouski.

  • On 29 May in Hrodna, during a picket to collect signatures for Svyatlana Tsikhanouskaya, one of the women at the picket started a conflict with Syarhei Tsikhanouski, who refused to answer her questions and wanted to stop the conversation. The police used it as a pretext to interfere, and a shoving match ensued. As a result, one policeman fell down and Tsikhanouski was detained.
  • The next day the Ministry of Internal Affairs stated that a criminal case on violence against an employee of the internal affairs bodies had been instigated. Its defendants are 17 people, including bloggers, 15 of whom are recognized as political prisoners.