Help for the family of Artem Novikov, a former military man who survived political persecution

  • Story

My name is Artem Novikov, I am a citizen of the Republic of Belarus, a native of Vitebsk region, v. Dolzha. From 2014 to 2019 I was in the ranks of the military of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Republic of Belarus in officer positions (after the UO “Military Academy of the Republic of Belarus”). Since 2019 I left the service at the end of the contract (after serving time), as I could not be there due to my moral and business qualities and personal interests (“I'd like to serve, I'm sick of serving”).

Worked in international trucking since 2019. In 2020, like many of my fellow citizens, I was worried about what was happening in my country, starting with election preparations. I strongly disagreed with what was happening, which I expressed my opinion about both in social networks and among my friends, among whom there were many who remained in the service of the “system. I tried to change their minds in some way. I reposted news about what was going on in the protest groups and social networks. I commented under the news, entered into polemics with those who had a different opinion. In the elections I voted for Svetlana Tikhanovskaya, and I wrote about it in the chat-bot "Golos".

From 2020 to 2022 I did not stop being active in my civic position. In 2022, in August, I was detained by police officers of Vitebsk city for comments (a total of 169 in the criminal case), which I had left in the telegram of the channel "Maya Kraina Belarus" in 2020. I was charged under part 1 of article 368 of the Criminal Code, namely "insulting the President of the Republic of Belarus. I was detained in the temporary detention facility in Vitebsk (72 hours). Subsequently, at the request of his attorney, he was released on his own recognizance not to leave the Republic of Belarus pending trial.

Being at home, having studied the judicial practice on these criminal cases, as well as having talked to acquaintances, I realized that I would not get the minimum punishment (a fine or restriction of freedom), and I would face imprisonment (given that I am a former serviceman). I decided to leave Belarus and go to one of the EU countries, where I applied for political asylum. Now my family and I have to apply for support to legalize our stay in the new country.

How much is needed?

2060€ — expenses for relocation of my family from Belarus; food for the period of obtaining refugee status; expenses for preparation of European documents (driving license, other documents of professional competence); payment for accommodation after obtaining status for the period of searching for work and employment.

Сollected:
€ 45 in 2 060