Helping a Brest resident evacuated from “home chemistry” in Lithuania to settle in a new country

  • Story

Hello, my name is Alexander. I am from Brest.

My story began in 2020, when Brest residents started to go on protest marches against the arbitrariness of the authorities and election fraud. I was a very active participant of the marches and a notorious screamer. I missed only a few marches because of my work schedule. I think my active participation in peaceful protests was often caught on street cameras, so I was quickly identified. The first time I was locked up for 24 hours and given a small fine by today's standards.

After that I was not bothered or harassed for a long time. But in January 2023, the officers of the State Department of Bureau of Internal Affairs suddenly came to my workplace and took me to the temporary detention center. They detained me harshly, broke my fingers on my hand, and continued beating me during interrogation. 

I was charged under Article 369 (Article 369 of the Criminal Code — Insulting a representative of power) for the fact that in 2021 I wrote some insulting, in their opinion, comments in Telegram. They sentenced me to 2 years and 6 months of “home chemistry”, confiscated my phone as an “instrument of crime” and imposed a large fine.

“Home chemistry” is a type of punishment where the convicted person remains free, but with restrictions. The convict has a schedule for both work and personal activities, including going to the store or throwing out the trash. The police can come every day and at any time — BYSOL.

Literally immediately after the verdict, inspections began. Every day the police came to my house after work 3-4 times (at 21.00, 23.00, 23.30 and 00.30), and I had to get up for work at six in the morning. I was chronically sleep deprived and this lasted for almost a year. I tolerated and hoped that the main thing was to wait for release. But two months ago, an inspector called me in and told me that I would be locked up anyway, because of the order. And she gave me 15 days of administrative arrest for violating the “home chemistry” regime.

Two days after my release they gathered several dozens of “politicians” in the police station and announced that because of Lukashenka's arrival they would send us all to the temporary detention center as a preventive measure. We started to get indignant. Those who argued got another 15 days, those who kept silent went home. I was sent to the temporary detention center with those who were outraged. While I was serving my next «24 hours», they brought me a document to sign that I had been detained for disobedience. It was a lie, and I refused to sign such a protocol.

When I was released again, I was warned that the inspector passed my documents to the court to change the regime of “home chemistry” to a colony. I signed for this, but decided that I would not give them any more and decided to run away. The next day I was urgently evacuated by the BYSOL team to Lithuania.

And here I am in Lithuania, with one backpack and 100 euros that will soon be spent on food. The fact that I have nowhere to go, nowhere to sleep and nothing to eat has made me overcome my pride and send my application for the collection. My only hope is to get help from people who can step into my currently hopeless situation and help me get back on my feet. I at least need to rent a place to live, buy basic necessities and food. I am not afraid of work, as soon as I find it, everything will improve. But for now I am at a complete loss and I don't know what tomorrow holds for me.

How much is needed?


€1600 for rent for 4 months.
€600 for food and clothing for the season.
€300 for basic necessities

The collection is over. Сollected:
€ 2 600
The collection is over. Сollected: € 2 600