Maryna Adamovich: "These authorities are illegitimate as long as at least one person refuses to write a clemency petition"

2013 2013-06-05T16:54:34+0300 1970-01-01T03:00:00+0300 en The Human Rights Center “Viasna” The Human Rights Center “Viasna”
The Human Rights Center “Viasna”
Maryna Adamovich

Maryna Adamovich

Maryna Adamovich comments on the situation around her husband and other prisoners of conscience.

Journalist: Maryna, Your husband Mikalai Statkevich stated that he was repeatedly threatened that a clemency petition would be written for him, by forging his handwriting. Can such forgery of documents be really carried out?

M. A.: In fact, Mikola recalled the events which had taken place almost two years ago, when Lukashenka's "court" penitentiary was entrusted to beat out the petitions from political prisoners. Such threats were actively used at that time. As far as I understand, now Mikola reminded about those events as something is happening around him. He hasn't received any direct requests to write such a petition, especially after his statement.

J: What do you think, why do the authorities so strictly demand that the political prisoners write the petitions? It is clear why the prisoners on principle refuse to do it – they can do it at least trying to prove their innocence. How can you explain the pressurization on the part of the authorities and "beating out" the clemency petitions?

M. A.: A principled refusal is principled due to the fact that, first of all, these people have some principles, cannot step over their dignity and plead guilty in the things they didn't do. All of them... However, this is not the only reason: in particular, for Mikola it would also be a betrayal of the people who trusted to him and facilitation to the "legitimization" of these authorities, as when the people "ask for clemency" they automatically confess their guilt and the right of the authorities to judge and pardon them. The political prisoners are, whatever pathetic it may sound, as in the war, and in fact they are there on their own will. They try to protect their own dignity and the right to a normal future for all of us at the at the cost of their own freedom. They also try to prevent the temptation of hostage traffic. At present these guys are a real problem for those who put them in jail. As long as at least one political prisoner refuses to "beg" – this power is illegitimate even in its own eyes, not to mention the whole world. In fact, this is the real answer why it is so important for the authorities to press them to the core.

J.: You expressed indignation that sometimes journalists express conjectures in the media that political prisoners can be released pretty soon. Why are such publications unacceptable?
M. A.: Well, indignation may be not the most accurate word... But we must not engage in fortune-telling on coffee ground. Can you tell me, what are such conjectures based on? Taking into account the aforesaid, are the authorities interested in showing their weakness? (Pitifully enough, such words as "mercy", "adequacy", "objectivity", "justice" and "nomocracy" are not a part of their vocabulary). These wain expectations are beneficial for the authorities, as far as all activities inside and outside the country get frozen and the necessary steps which could really foster the release of political prisoners aren't taken. Of course, this is a respite for those who unlawfully govern us, which gives them a possibility to find resources, etc.

For our guys it inevitably means more months or even years in jail... Non-fulfilled hopes and expectations also bring much pain to the relatives, even if they understand that such hopes are illusory and far-fetched... That's why there is no use in uttering the words which have nothing behind them...

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