Statkevich: I could deligitimize elections, but they kicked me out of jail

On Saturday, it became known that Lukashenka pardoned six prisoners before the election. At about 10 pm, at the Uskhodni bus station, a few hundred people were waiting for the former presidential candidate Mikalai Statkevich, who spent in captivity almost 5 years.

The politician arrived at the Uskhodni station by shuttle bus. He was immediately surrounded by a crowd, and even his wife Maryna Adamovich was not able break in at first.

"For me, the number of people is surorising. Three hours ago, I called my wife. The bus driver, while driving here, r4eceived a call: "Who are you're carrying, so many people have gathered!".

"Thank you for your support. I want to thank those who supported me and did not lose hope for freedom in Belarus. Of course, I never signed a petition for pardon and would never do that."


Statkevich speaks how he learned about the release and why it was done

"At 4 pm, I was told to collect things, but they did not say for what. I collected my things, then I signed a paper about the money on my account. Then it became known that they were releasing me.

I was not hoping that Lukashenka would release me before the election. But, apparently, the dictatorship ran out of money and it will simulate democracy. It may be that all the alternative candidates will recognize the elections.

It is necessary to gather and talk. I think I'll keep on doing what I did: work for free Belarus. But the first few days I would like to spend with relatives. However, I will meet with the leaders of opposition groups."

Mr Statkevich made it clear that the release was unexpected for him, and in some ways even changed the plans.

"I had an option of what to do wheb I was there. Now it is gone. I do not know. There I would be able to make this election illegitimate, but I was kicked out," ex-presidential candidate and ex-political prisoner said emotionally.


Conditions in captivity and the current state of health

"Difficult for me were not the sudden changes, but, perhaps, the long-term presence there itself. A cell is 35 steps. Another cell is called an exercise yard. And it was like that for years. In prison, you are not afraid of conflict, on the contrary, it somehow supports you. On the contrary, if they do not bother you for a long time - it's too heavy."

When asked about health, Mikalai Statkevich said that life in the colony did not break him either physically or mentally:

"How is your health? ! Excellent!"

About his wife Maryna Adamovich

Journalists so tightly surrounded Statkevich the way even Olympic champions are not surrounded in Belarus during their arrival at the airport. Even the polititcian's other half could not get to him.

"Where is my wife?" finally said Statkevich. After that, people made a corridor for Maryna Adamovich, and she made her way to her husband.

"I will always remember that meeting in court, when she was with a cane, she said:" Well, thank God, that even though I crashed the car, we did meet," (oncee during a trip to her husband Maryna Adamovich got in an accident). We were not allowed to be together and even touch each other all these years. We could see each other once or twice a year through the glass for two hours. She wrote me through the people who sent cards, but I did not receive a significant part of them. I want to thank the courageous people who annually made fireworks outside the prison on my birthday. I did not see them, but I heard them very well. Thank you for your support. I did not feel despair or depression. I understood that I was in the flow, that I was doing something for Belarus by the fact of being there. Now you have to think about the new ways to help."

Prisoner with a special status

"I remember other convicts said to me: they treat you as if you killed 30 people," said Statkevich about the special stance towards him in the colony.

On possible emigration: No way

"You just don't leave Belarus!" shouted someone from the crowd to Statkevich.

"No way! Agents in the prison cell were constantly asking me the same question: Am I going to leave Belarus. No. I'm already tired of it, and I began to answer: "I do not speak foreign languages, what am I to do there." And I was allowed to learn English using the ESHKA course. And - this is incredible - they brought into the chamber a player and CDs. Just learn and leave. I did study it. But I told them at once  only I would only leave for two weeks, no more. Somebody can't wait for me to leave. I understand that I can get squeezed out of the country, they have such an experience. I do not even know what status I will now have. Preventive observation or not? I was not told anything."

What happened in the Square 2010 and what will be on the voting day 2015?

Euroradio: Do ​​you think that it was people's decision to go to the Government House, or was it a secret service operation?

Mikola Statkevich: I think people were protesting against what is done in the country: against the imitation of elections, against the lack of freedom.

Euroradio: What to expect during this year's vote?

Mikola Statkevich: I do not know. I was inside for so long. I do not feel the situation here yet. Give me a little bit of time to understand the situation. Thank you!

Incidentally, journalists did not see any presidential candidate wannabes of 2015 at the bus station that day. There were the ex-leader of the Belarusian Popular Front, Alyaksei Yanukevich and Andrei Dzmitryieu from Tell the Truth, writer Uladzimir Arlou, former political prisoners Mikalai Autukhovich and Zmitser Dashkevich.

Mikalai Statkevich left the bus station in an old Opel Astra. Behind the wheel was his wife.