“She doesn’t regret anything”: How is Marfa Rabkova doing in jail
Aksana Kolb, the editor-in-chief of Novy Čas newspaper who was recently released from detention sentence awaiting the commencement sentence met Marfa Rabkova in detention and spoke to Viasna about the human rights defender's condition.
According to Oksana Kolb, she met Marfa twice in special cells in the pre-trial detention centre, where prisoners are held before they are transported to the courts. Usually one can stay in such a cell for 10 to 30 minutes.
“Marfa seems to be well,” says Aksana Kolb. “Both physically and psychologically. I didn’t even think I would see Marfa in another state. It is obvious that Marfa is in a good mood. She has no regrets about anything, despite what she is accused of and what she is facing.”
Marfa Rabkova and Aksana Kolb recognized each other immediately. Seeing the editor-in-chief of Novy Čas was no surprise to Marfa:
“Marfa talked about how when she first 'checked in' at Valadarka detention center [September 2020 - ed. note], she was actually one of the 'political' women. And she said, she had been waiting for the others to ‘catch up’. And we [the detainees] laughed: So that's who did all this! That's why they started putting everybody in jail!”
Aksana Kolb, editor-in-chief of Novy Čas newspaper, was detained on April 20, 2022, and on June 15 she was sentenced to 2.5 years of restricted freedom in an open-type correctional facility for her participation in one of the rallies in August 2020. She was released in the courtroom awaiting the commencement of the sentence. Before trial, Aksana Kolb was kept in pre-trial detention center. During this time she was recognized as a political prisoner.
Viasna human rights defender Marfa Rabkova was detained on September 17, 2020, and has been in custody ever since. Since April 25, a closed trial against her, Viasna volunteer Andrei Chapyuk, and eight other political prisoners started continues. Marfa is charged under 11 articles of the Criminal Code.