Valery LEVANEUSKI - personal site  
December 14th, 2006. Posted in Interviews

« Main page

V.Levaneuski: “I want my children to live in the normal country…”

I am the former political prisoner condemned in 2004 for 2 years of imprisonment for «the insult of the President of Belarus» to formal, far-fetched signs though a principal cause why I have been arrested, and it is then condemned is an active oppositional activity and, in particular, meeting which has been organized by me and my assistant Vasilev.

I head Strike committee of entrepreneurs of Belarus. On May, 1st in Grodno then has come about 4 thousand persons, and they have demanded Lukashenka’s resignation. The authority did not expect it, though I have been arrested at 9.40, and meeting was at 10.40, me have arrested directly near the house, as organizer of this meeting. To me at first distances of 15 days of arrest, and then not letting out from detention centre have given as early as 2 years.

How did you have come to a policy? As far as I know, you were engaged in business?

Both were engaged, and I am engaged. I am entrepreneur already more than for 15 years. In due time I  headed a number of public human rights organizations. In 1996 position of entrepreneurs and so it has turned out has sharply worsened, that I have headed strike movement in Belarus, and we within a year organized some scale actions with participation 100 to 200 thousand persons as a sign of the protest of spent economic policy in Belarus. But when it has not conceived action, we have started to make except economic and political demands, began to enter into political parties, in UCP, in other parties. Why I in general have come to a policy? The matter is that i have four children; I want them to live in the normal country. Who except us healthy and strong mans will do it? We also should. Therefore I am have become interested in a policy, stood both in presidents of Belarus and on parliamentary elections proposed the candidature. I was not registered by the authorities to different formal and far-fetched signs.

You have sent in prison for «The insult of the president of Belarus. In what it consisted?

I will operate with a court verdict in which it has been told, that I have printed a leaflet, and there have been literally told so: come on the area on May, 1st if you do not want that at your expense someone went to Austria. This phrase has been written by me because recently to Austria went to have a rest president Lukashenka, and for whose account – is not clear, in holiday and in any way. It has revolted me, and I have sounded it. This phrase is. The court has considered that it concerns Lukashenka and the second, that it has offended him. Also what I meant, that it spends means of tax bearers, i.e. has accused him of a crime, for as has received two years.

You deal with problems of political prisoners in Belarus. Under your data, how many political prisoners are today in prisons?

You know, that I would consider this problem much more widely. Not only political prisoners, but also illegally condemned because political prisoners in the pure state, their tens, and can be and hundreds. And the considerable quantity of people has been condemned that they simply do not agree with a policy of the present state, the present government, present officials. Did not give a bribe, let us assume, any businessmen. Them put in prison under other articles of the criminal code, but basically that they were not agree that they protested or tried to protest. Such people I have seen enough in prisons much. People who tried to counteract actively to common sense infringement basically get for a lattice.

You have appeared in prison for the whole two years. I understand, that not the most favorite for you the theme – to tell it about these two years of imprisonment. But how you have survived, what contingent of people has appeared nearby?

It is very difficult to be in prison of Belarus as there laws in general cease to operate. Political prisoners with me were not, but there were many young men whose fault is not proved. Children of 18-19 years were there, the former alcoholics too. They actually did not commit a crime, in general it is difficult to tell, made or did not make, but their fault precisely is not proved. They sit under the court decision. The legal system does not work for us. To protect them there is nobody, lawyers expensive and it is inefficient.

How your family worried two-year-old absence?

Very hard, there were many troubles and provocations. The spouse with two higher educations could not find to herself normal work. Certainly for 50 or 60 dollars a month she could work as a cleaner, but it at all not that the person has deserved, having grown up four children and a half-life having studied. Fortunately, it is all behind, the life is somehow normalized. At present I enjoy a family. I already even without the wife do not wish to go anywhere, even here have arrived with the spouse because I can not admire, for two years have become bored.

Whether your political position during stay in prison has changed?

Certainly, I have understood the most important thing. I consider that the opposition should not clash among them because conflicts in what good to do not result, and, on the contrary, they strengthen the today’s authority which laughs at us and pits us with each other. And I urge all parties to act with any certain thoughts and requirements, but to unite in the general movement.

The name of your one article was: «the Opposition in Belarus is doomed to a victory».

The matter is that there are historical certain operating time, there is a historical experience. Our situation differs nothing from what were both at communists, and at fascists is in general the slavery form, that occurs here, hardly, can, camouflaged. Already the mode has developed all resources. The most important thing, that at them was is Russian economic and political support. Today, I am afraid, it is sharply reduced. Russia is included into the WTO, well and from Lukashenka nobody will accept Belarus. I think that Russia will search for other ally in Belarus. And I think that the opposition will be this ally.

If it not  a secret, what book do you write?

About political, about a prison life of Belarus, own  vision what, from my point of view, a problem it is necessary to decide today what it is necessary to do. There will be more autobiographical and analytical part. There will be not one book, and a little. We will look, yet I do not wish to think. Not all turns out. Sometimes it is necessary already ready to delete…

What has brought you to Prague?

To Prague me have invited to a seminar where the problems connected with association of opposition are discussed, their further actions. And I with pleasure have accepted the invitation because I had a possibility to visit Prague where I never was. Discussion was interesting; there are many the interesting thoughts, many interesting people, the disputable moments happen…

What plans are you have on the future? What are you going to undertake?

I will actively to participate further in a public life, I will render the world assistance in creation of a civil society, work of political parties, i.e. will be engaged in what was engaged earlier. But today I still am not ready to be put actively yet into operation. I would like to wish for your listeners of health, the successes, New year is soon, Christmas, and also all kind and that at them was never such troubles which were at me, that we faster, both Belarussians, and Czechs, have united on equal that Belarus was included into Europe and became its full member, and still I wish to wish good, the world in houses of Czechs, Belarusians and those who listens to you.


« | »

Note: Translated by means of machine translation. The original text in Russian is on a site or