Political activist Pavel Vinahradau moving to exile in Berazino (photos)
December 12, leader of “Zmena” (the youth wing of the civil campaign “Tell The Truth!” Pavel Vinahradau had to move out of Minsk in order to evade fate of a “political dipsomaniac”.
Reminding about the reasons for his departure, he said that one of them was the family circumstances, and the second was known to everyone: "My three protocols for alleged drunkenness. The police promised me that when they came into force, I would be sent to the commission, which would delcare me a chronic alcoholic and then send to an activity therapy centre. In order to prevent this, I decided to move out of the hero-city of Minsk to the town of Berazino."
Thus, Pavel has moved to his father, to Berazino, 100 kilometers away from Minsk. Let us remind that in the 1960-1970-ies Soviet union dissidents were sent out to exile from large cities, often on charges of “parasitism” (which is now being returned to the Belarusian legislation). In particular, Soviet dissident Andrei Sakharau was sent out from Moscow to the town of Gorki. Pavel's father, Yury Vinahradau, pointed that during the Soviet times several brick factories worked in Berazino, to which so-called “antisocial elements” were sent for work.
Earlier Pavel Vinahradau shared the feeling that law enforcement officers would try to label him not only as a “political alcoholic”, but also as a “social parasite”. On the day of his departure he also stated that he had found a job in Minsk.
In general, Pavel was as cheerful as always, and was talking about the situation with his usual sense of humor, whereas officers of the Maskouski District Police Department of Minsk were quite nervous and suddenly told him that he needed to appear at the Berazino District Police Department not later than 1 p.m. As a result, Mr. Vinahradau had to pack his things hastily.
Collecting the things that he decided to take with him, including his PC and CDs, Pavel talked about some of his hobbies: "I, an adult with two previous convictions, collect toys from "Kinder" chocolates. Here you can also look at one of my works. When I received the first arrest term [in 2007], I sculpted a bear. My wife told me I couldn't throw it away, so I have to keep it..."
"Viasna" activists gave Pavel some symbolic gifts, drawing some historical parallels. One of the gifts was a reproduction of the painting "Lenin in Shushenskoye" (27-year-old Lenin didn't waste time in exile there, actively agitating the local peasants against the Russian czar). The other gift was the book “Cold Wing of the Motherland”, written by Ales Bialiatski in prison.
How long will the Berazino exile of Pavel Vinahradau last? As stated by the activist himself, there is no definite answer so far. He believes that he has left Minsk for about a year.
Seeing off Pavel Vinahradau was also accompanied with some “paranoid” moments, caused by these three “plainclothed observers” walking in the yard near the activist's house. At first sight they resembled the local dwellers, but took out a notebook and a telephone after Vinahradau's car had driven out of the yard. Behind the house, they were joined by three more colleagues.
Photos by Nasta Loika