I am Inna Shirokaya, a Grodno resident and single mother of five children. I actively expressed my position at work — I was the manager of a Grodno coffee house, for which I was fired for political reasons.
I was sure that I was acting legally and fairly, I took part in many peaceful protest initiatives, but in the spring of 2022 I was detained by the officers of GUBOP, leaving my minor children at home, under the care of my 77-year-old mother. I thought they were taking me to a preventive detention, but I spent some time in Okrestina, and then to Volodarsky prison (pre-trial detention center #1). I had to stay there for 3 months and 20 days. I became a criminal under the people's article 342.1, but my story with criminal prosecution did not end there. I was promised several more criminal cases for commenting on Telegram and participating in extremist organizations. All this time my children were with my sick mother, who had been diagnosed with lymphosarcoma as a result of stress. Everyone in the family understood that I could stay behind bars for many years.
I was lucky in the court — I received three years of home chemistry, a huge sue of 169 thousand Belarusian rubles and the arrest of all my property. Then I fled Belarus with my children, with one backpack on my back and the minimum of my belongings. My older children are still in hiding and are not safe, and I am listed as extremist under number 1712. My mother did not survive the ordeal and I could not even say goodbye to her and bury her.
Now I am in Poland with three minor children and I am asking for help, because for now I cannot work in the status of waiting for MH and do not receive child allowance. Funds are needed for renting a place to live.
How much is needed?
3100 € — rent; utilities; deposit for the apartment.