My story began in the year 2020. I was working as a translator. My wife, daughter and I lived in Gomel near the center. I was not involved in the opposition movement, lived an ordinary life and tried to keep the household happy. This lasted until I learned of the violent crackdown on peaceful protests. I sought to express my support for the peaceful protesters and those already affected by the madness.
I went to rallies until September twentieth, when the detentions began and I was one of the first people arrested. I was sentenced to eight days. Toward the end of my sentence, I learned that the police started using grenades against people. I began to seriously fear for my family.
After the twenty-four hours, I found myself in a strange situation. Everything seemed to be back to normal again, but at the same time, I had a feeling of an invisible threat. During a year and a half I was repeatedly summoned to different police departments. In January 2022, I was summoned to the ROVD by trickery and detained again for an old incident. This time I was sentenced to 18 months' imprisonment in a penal colony. The case was fabricated, brought under a criminal article, and accomplices were added.
While still in the detention center, I began to write, received approval from a good man, whose brother was also a political prisoner, and by the time I arrived in the colony I had more than one work in prose and verse, and many positive evaluations.
Neither the prison nor the colony broke me, and neither did those who empathized with me, and with whom I empathized. I managed to keep a lot of details in my memory most likely because notes were taken away, attempts to do something secretly were punished, and all plans expressed aloud turned into details of regular cases for many people I would like to share my experiences, impressions and life lessons learned there. I am sure it will help many people to cope and draw their own conclusions.
I did not manage to take the manuscripts out of penal colony 15. I hope to restore them in full in time. Some of the material is already ready, and I share excerpts from the book in interviews with normal news outlets. However, it is necessary to restore not only my work, but also my health.
That is my story.
How much is needed?
Part of this amount will be used to buy small appliances and materials for creativity.
The rest will be needed for clothes, medicines and other urgent needs that are not covered by benefits during the period of registration and obtaining European documents.