Supporting a Belarusan activist after moving to Poland

  • Story

Hello!
My name is Ivan Skuratovich.

My political activity began with the 2001 elections, when I joined Vladimir Goncharik's initiative group. I was young and full of hopes at that time. I believed that I could change my country for the better. And soon my enthusiasm and energy led me to become the head of the Rogachev district branch of the youth movement ZUBR from 2004 to 2006.

ZUBR is a Belarusian youth movement of non-violent resistance, active in the 2000s, advocating for democratic change and human rights. The movement organized protests and information campaigns against the regime of Alexander Lukashenko, despite severe repression by the authorities.
BYSOL Note

In 2006 I became a member of Aliaksandr Milinkevich's initiative group, and in 2010 I became a member of Yaroslav Romanchuk's initiative group. My active civic position led me to participate in the protests on Independence Square. I fought for justice and democracy, but this struggle had its price. When I tried to get to the local council of deputies in 2014, I faced severe pressure from the authorities and was forced to quit my job.

From 2014 to 2015, I was an active member of the “Tell the Truth” initiative and was repeatedly detained and subjected to administrative arrests. In 2015, I joined Tatyana Korotkevich's initiative group. However, frustrated by constant failures, in 2016 I left the country and went to Russia, where I stayed until winter 2019.

After returning to Belarus, I settled in the small village of Dovsk and got a job as a garden maintenance worker. And in 2020, it was as if I felt a second breath and I did a lot of agitating, traveling to Rogachev for rallies and protest marches.

After the war started, I faced a lack of understanding from the people around me. Many fellow villagers laughed at the failures of 2020 and supported Russia in its aggression. Even at home, conversations with loved ones often ended in scandal. And then I was caught in a police raid, during which I was found to have an Instagram subscription to Zerkalo and given 7 days of arrest, which became the toughest ordeal of my life.

I was led through the corridors exclusively face down with my hands shackled behind my back. An hour before the inspection and an hour after, my hands were handcuffed behind my back. We slept on bare bunks, 8-13 people in two or three-bed cells. No transfers were allowed, no smoking, no boiling water, not even hygiene products, including toilet paper. After my arrest, I was fired from my job and placed under prosecutor's supervision, which involved periodic searches and inspection of equipment.

Realizing that I would not be given peace of mind, I decided to move to Poland. And now, at the age of 43, I am facing new difficulties: overweight and related illnesses, no job and not knowing the language. And I am asking for your help to establish a new life.

And I also do not lose hope and continue to believe that one day I will be able to return home and see my country free and democratic.

How much is needed?

€2000

€340 — intensive Polish language course (https://ru.together.edu.pl/intensiw)
€660 — room for 3 months
€1000 — food and living expenses for the next 2-3 months while I look for a job.

Сollected:
€ 1 403 in 2 000