The leader of the Young Front registered in the Czech Republic recalls some stories resembling the FEMEN incident.
Nasta Palazhanka: I think it was ordinary revenge of the “brave” security services directed at the girls who had managed to conduct a successful action that attracted attention, who demonstrated their will and interests – it was like a slap in their face. That is why they took revenge on the girls as they had not managed to react in time. They did it on the sly. I am not surprised.
- Some activists of the European Belarus, Young Front and you went though it…
- It has been tried out on civil activists many times in Belarus. It was tested during the so-called “liberalization” when they could not detain and jail people, so they did it on the sly…
I can recall how Zmitser Dashkevich was captured near his flat. They put a cap on his face, pushed him into a minibus and started beating him. Zmitser was transported to Minsk District and left in a forest there. They put a log in his sleeves do that he could not move his arms. However, he understood that he could get rid of the log by leaning on a tree.
The same thing happened to Arthur Finkevich who was captured near his lobby, beaten on a bus, transported somewhere and left alone. Both Zmitser and Arthur sent complaisant to the police back then… I was detained with Dzyanis Karnou on March 25, 2009. They put caps on our faces and made us bend so that we would not see anyone. They were not interested in me and they pushed me out of the bus not far from Minsk. Dzyanis was taken to a forest, his jeans were cut and he was made to kneel. It was an imitation of execution; they told him that he would have “to dig his own grave”.
- Are the actions aimed at intimidating people?
- Of course they want to intimidate people. They try to demonstrate that they “will find a way to deal with such dare-devils”. The same has happened to FEMEN. “You conducted actiond in many countries and you got away with it. We will take revenge on you for all the countries. You have come to Belarus – so get it the Belarusian way”. They want to threaten and to show who the boss is in Belarus”.
Such actions became typical in 2008. They could not do anything because the legal sphere was controlled by diplomats and the international community. They avoided problems. So, they introduced the practice they use now. I would not be surprised to find out that some other Belarusian services besides KGB are responsible for it – we have many of them here.