Assistance to the family of activist Nikolai to arrange living arrangements after emergency evacuation

  • Story

Hello! My name is Nikolai. In 2020 I participated in the peaceful protests after the 2020 presidential election, although I had “enlightened” a few years before that. So after seeing all the falsifications and lawlessness and wanting to get justice, I joined the protests. My wife was also in the strike, but during these three years there were no claims to her from the law enforcers. 

However, all this time I did not relax and kept my hand on the pulse — after the protests I did not feel safe in Belarus. You leave the house and constantly look out for any unfamiliar or police car under the windows, you worry about your children and wife.  You expect that if you leave home in the morning, you may not get to work, or you may not get home from work in the evening.

In the fall of 2023 I was called as a witness under the “people's” Article 342 (Article 342 of the Criminal Code of the Republic of Belarus — organization and preparation of actions that grossly violate public order), later my status was changed and I became a suspect, and in November I was already accused in a criminal case. I was detained under Article 108 (Article 108 of the Criminal Procedural Code of Belarus — detention on direct suspicion of committing a crime) for three days to clarify the circumstances. Then I was put under house arrest until the trial, as I have small children. And then in early January, the court took place, the decision of which was “chemistry”.

“Chemo” is a type of punishment where a convict is sent to an open-type correctional facility. People live in buildings similar to dormitories. They are under constant supervision and are obliged to fulfill the rules of internal order, while paying for accommodation, buying food at their own expense, cooking, washing and cleaning themselves. At the same time, all convicts are required to work, and are often assigned to low-skilled and low-paid labor.

At that moment I realized there was no way out, so I contacted BYSOL in advance on the recommendation of acquaintances for evacuation assistance. On Friday I got a verdict, and on Saturday, having borrowed money from acquaintances, my wife, three children and I left Belarus in an emergency.

Everything happened so quickly that, to be honest, I am still in shock. But the most important thing is that my family is no longer threatened, and we are all safe. Now we need to sort out the documents, then find a job as quickly as possible and start earning some money, and then I will be the happiest person in the world!

My wife and I are not lazy or stupid people. In Belarus I worked for myself, so I am sure that we will definitely cope with adaptation in the new place. But we will be very grateful for any support for the first time for our big family.

How much is needed?


€1000 — rent for 2 months + deposit
€500 — airbag

The collection is over. Сollected:
€ 1 761
The collection is over. Сollected: € 1 761