Maryna Adamovich: Europeans are confused about whom to listen to in Belarus


“I wouldn’t like to comment on the statements
made in Brussels,”
Maryna Adamovich said. We discussed whether
political prisoners were refugees of a no-win situation or living goods used
for trading more than two years after the events in the Square.

Euroradio: Ms. Maryna, two years has passed
since the Square, some political prisoners have already been released and
others are still in prison. What else has changed since then?

Maryna Adamovich: I was congratulated on Mikola’s approaching release
in May 2012. That is why I do not believe any signals or promises anymore. I
can only discuss real deeds. I think that Lukashenka has managed to win again despite
all the games with the West and signals of possible changes. The signals were noticed
more than a year ago. Europeans have lessened the intensity of their demands
and are waiting for changes. And they are not the only ones – the Belarusian society
is also waiting…

Euroradio: What is the reaction of the official
Minsk? Is there any?

Maryna Adamovich: I can see that the European Union hopes that the
Belarusian authorities will fulfil their promises and that the signals are true.
The EU sanctions have not been expanded for 18 months. It has not happened
although five of the 11 political prisoners were imprisoned. Such facts can
turn any romantic into a realist.

Euroradio: You often go abroad. You meet major
politicians. Does it give you any hope? Can you express what you would like to

Maryna Adamovich: Unfortunately, I mostly talk to representatives
of the civil communities of the western countries. They cannot affect political
relations with Belarus. The number of unfulfilled intentions of Belarusian organizations
and politicians is so huge that Europeans are confused. Belarusians have failed
to unite the opposition even in one of the issues…  Neither I nor you made Europe react to the
violation of human rights in our country. It was Europe’s decision. Now it seems
to me that the European Union is lost and does not know who to listen to. I am
grateful to the West for sticking to its position regardless of the fact that Belarusians
do not have any position.

Euroradio: Why don’t different Belarusian
forces have a similar position as regards the problem of political prisoners? Does
it testify to the prevalence of personal ambitions? Is the inability to reach
an agreement our national characteristic?

Maryna Adamovich: I have stopped asking myself about it. I have
accepted it. I think that all the reasons are true. And the main one is the absence
of the desire to win, the lack of a programme needed to lead the democratic forces
to victory. Nobody knows what the democratic forces are going to do.

Euroradio: Do average Belarusians know about
the problem of political prisoners?

Maryna Adamovich: Belarusians are able to unite without any
political leaders. I will never forget the wave of solidarity after the Square.
People were queuing near the office of the BPF – they wanted to help the detained
and their relatives. I will not forget Minskers’ reaction to the April 11
terrorist act. It differed from the reaction of Muscovites after the terrorist
act in Domodedovo Airport.

People supported
political prisoners in the summer of 2011 when they took part in “silent protest
actions”... That is why I have a better opinion about the Belarusian society
and it helps me in moments of depression... There is little information about
political prisoners. I mean information that cannot be ignored or missed. People
are often surprised when they find out that not all those who were detained
after the Square are free. You should also say that there will be no economic assistance
and the relations with the EU will not improve while there are political prisoners
in Belarus.

Euroradio: There is also Moscow. It supports
the official Minsk regardless of the presence or absence of political prisoners.

Maryna Adamovich: Yes, it directly affects us. This is the only
strong support for the current situation despite of any temporary “family
discord” between Minsk and Moscow. Unfortunately, our democratic forces are not
working in the eastern direction. All petitions, “houses” and information centres
are focused on the West and they open in the West.

Euroradio: Do you really think that human rights
activists and politicians can work in the eastern direction? Is it possible?

It is possible and it is necessary despite the fact that their
situation is starting to resemble ours. There are many Belarusians living in
Russia – about a million people. There are guest workers and influential people
among them. You cannot ignore them. I know that it is harder than working on the
Internet or in Warsaw. But it must be done.

Euroradio: How much has your life changed in
two years? You have become popular with the media.

Maryna Adamovich: I used to be a media person in my own field. I
took part in the democratic movement. I was one of the founders of the Belarusian
Collection of Books and worked in Viasna at the very beginning. It was not
enough and I did not think about publicity. I tried to avoid it but then I
understood that I would not be able to. I need to travel and to talk. Who will
do it if I don’t?

Euroradio: It is time-consuming? Do you have
time for dealing with political prisoners’ problems, for Mikola’s problems and
for yourself?

Maryna Adamovich: We talked about it with the girls sometimes. I
am busy all day long, I work at night... And I ask myself – what have I done? All my thoughts and actions are focused on
one direction. The relatives of political prisoners united after the Square...
We supported one another... The number of political prisoners is reducing and the
authorities are starting to persecute other people. You cannot relax.

Euroradio: The political prisoners will be released
sooner or later. Mikola Statkevich will also be released. What will you do when
there are no political prisoners in our country?

about it, I recall the description given to Mikola in Shklou colony. They wrote
that he “had not improved his behaviour and was inclined to be a criminal after
the release”. I do not know when he or the other guys will be released...

Let our
dreams stay with us. They are pure and bright. We never parted with Mikola for more
than a few days and we believe that we will be together soon.