Here is what Svetlana Alexievich said right before the interrogation.
Nobel laureate Svetlana Aleksievich before interrogation at the Investigative Committee made a short speech about the new “brand” Belarus.
The writer and Nobel Prize winner in literature Svetlana Aleksievich came for questioning to the Investigative Committee of Belarus on August 26. As a member of the Presidium of the Coordination Council for the Transit of Power (CC), she was called as a witness in the criminal case brought against the CC. The case was opened on August 20 under the Article on calls for action aimed at causing harm to national security. The Constitutional Court was convened on a wave of incessant protests following the country’s presidential elections. Before the interrogation, Aleksievich made a short speech.
Here is what she said:
“I just want to say thank you for your support. It’s very important, and we should back each other up. I’m going for interrogation and I feel calm. I don’t find myself guilty and feel that everything we’ve done is legal. Moreover, this support is essential nowadays as if they keep separating and setting us against each other, we’ll definitely slide down to a civil war which is dangerous. Our aim is to unite the society; we weren’t preparing for any coup. It’s a groundless argument that all of us, 600 people [Members of the Coordination Council], pushed other people to certain actions. People came to this by themselves. We are the witnesses of Belarusian nation and community being built.
I think each of you is proud of your people today. To be honest, we haven’t felt that way until we’ve seen thousands of people moving across the streets… I wish you could have seen all the great covers of foreign newspapers; it seems Belarus is a brand now. It’s like Belarusians have suddenly become a worldwide famous nation: it is appreciated that not a single lawn is dented, not a single showcase is broken and people treat everyone and everything with respect. We offer a new way, it’s not necessary to occupy the post or telegraph office anymore. We offer a peaceful way of fighting. Modern times demand this solution. The times when peoples’ lives matter and every person values his life.
Things we saw during the first three days [of peaceful protests] were the confrontations when people were beaten to a pulp. It’s the way of previous century regimes. We should talk to each other, argue with each other. To my mind the ideal example was a young man holding a red-and-green flag in one hand and a white-red-white flag in another hand. He wanted to say: “We are different but let’s talk to each other as we have one country, one Belarus. All of us will be leaving here, our children will be living here together”. I remember the big flag, all of you remember it. It was 10 meters long or even longer, small children were sitting under it, pulling their little hands up to it.
By the way, the funniest thing happened at a meeting supporting the current regime when the adults were scanding “Batska (“Father”), Belarus!” and their small children who don’t know how to lie as yet were chanting “Go Away!”. It becomes clear what is going on at their homes, in the air of our country.
I think all of us should be together and shouldn’t give up. God save everyone from the bloodshed! There shouldn’t be any other victims, we should win relying on our moral courage and the strength of our common beliefs”.