Opposition politician Statkevich gave interview before arrest

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Vola Chaychyts spoke with the politician about the preparations for the protest against the “Zapad 2017” military drill on the eve of his arrest.

On Saturday, Mikola Statkevich was detained and sent to serve 15 days at Akrestsina jail, the prison term he received on August 9th.

We are not against the drill — Belarusian army needs to be trained. We are against this particular drill. Several thousands of Russian troops in the Belarusian land — perhaps they or some of them will remain in Belarus after the exercise. We attract attention to the drill thus reducing the likelihood that bad scenario will come true.

Of course, the authorities are trying to prevent the protest. A number of activists, including me, got arrested, but they would not imprison us. Some of us come to Akrestsina, but we were told that “there is no place”.

If you get imprisoned before the protest, what can you say to people now?

You’re scared, and you’re looking for an excuse not to go. There is no leader — and we cannot protect Belarus. One person can be killed — not just imprisoned. It it a reason not to care about this country?

Somebody will lead the rally — the Rada has 21 people. Not all will go to jail.

The fate of the protest will be decided by the authorities, but you should not be afraid. If you are a beggar, what kind of dictator are you? The organizers are ready to get fined — we are used to them.

The full interview with Mikalai Statkevich can be found here.

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