I first heard about Viktor Babarika in 2020, when he decided to run for president of the Republic of Belarus. I remember I wrote to him on Facebook then — I wanted to know how he saw the future of our country. And he replied: sign up for the initiative group, we'll work together. That's how I found myself in Viktor Dmitrievich's team.
In 2020, I was actively engaged in collecting signatures, travelled to the regions, and even entered the top five of the most effective collectors. But two months before the election, Viktor Dmitrievich was detained. I was so outraged by this that I submitted a petition to the KGB to change his preventive measure. But instead of accepting my documents, the officers accepted me.
After 14 days on Okrestin and in Zhodzina, I got out on 12 August 2020. After that I immediately filed complaints to the Prosecutor's Office and the Department of Internal Affairs of Minsk City Executive Committee, where I outlined 22 points of various violations of the law, which I encountered while I was on 24-hour detention. But that paper went unheeded.
Soon it became clear that I would not be given a quiet life anymore. So, after the elections, two searches took place at my home. And in November 2022, during the third search and turning my flat upside down, I was taken away and brought to the Main Department of State Security and Police for "proceedings".
They knew what they were doing and used violence and beatings to beat my passwords out of me. After that, I ended up in Okrestina, but compared to 2020, the detention conditions were much tougher. There were 20 of us in a 4-bed cell. There were no bed linen, towels or mattresses, nor were there any personal hygiene items. Sometimes we had to live without toilet paper for several days in a row. We were deprived of sleep, searched in the "swallow" position, moved through the corridors in handcuffs "face to the floor", as if we were the world's most dangerous criminals.
We were also regularly taken "for a talk". I was asked to confess to registering in the "Peramoga" plan and writing comments in one of the Telegram channels. Since there is no refusal in the algorithms of this organisation, the confessions were eventually obtained But they had no other evidence, so the investigators decided to release me on my own recognizance.
Immediately after my release, I applied to Minsk Regional Hospital with complaints of abdominal pains, which started while I was still in Akrestsin. I was hospitalised. And in August 2023, I was hospitalised at the Aleksandrov RNPC of Oncology in Borovlyany. In August 2023 I was diagnosed with a new cystic solid tumour in Borovlyany and was shown a surgery to remove it as soon as possible.
Since at that time there were only a few days left before the visa expired, we decided at a family council to leave the country. We travelled by car through Russia, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and finally reached Bialystok in Poland. Here we applied for international protection and are currently waiting for a decision.
I also went to the Oncology Centre in Bialystok, where, after 2 months of examinations, I had an operation in the beginning of December and the tumour was removed together with a part of my intestine. Everything went well and now I am in rehabilitation.
(BYSOL has all the supporting medical documents).
Most of the medical expenses were promised to be covered by a firm that takes care of people like us, but I had to pay something out of my own pocket.
We are asking for help to offset some of the medical expenses incurred and to provide additional rehabilitation. We also need funds for the family to survive until I am back on my feet.
How much is needed?
€250 — urgent CT scan which we were unable to cover
€2000 — sanatorium treatment and rehabilitation (approximately 3 months)
€1750 to support the family until I get back on my feet (approx. 3 months).