“The tweets took me to the District Department of Internal Affairs”
A doctor tells about her prosecution by the authorities because of her honest posts on social networks.
Daria Chekhova worked as a therapist at the admission department of the 10th Minsk City Clinical Hospital. In addition, for three months she has been treating Сovid-19 patients during the first wave of coronavirus. All that time she honestly tweeted about the real scale of the epidemic, the dangers of the coronavirus and the problems medical workers faced. Daria was also happy to give informative comments to the media. Today the doctor wrote that she was forced to leave Belarus and told how she was prosecuted by the authorities for the truth.
— If you think that I was over different kinds of repression, well, I wasn’t. I posted tweets a couple of times, several times I visited the District Department of Internal Affairs (then — DDIA), thereafter my case file was transferred to the investigative committee, and it seems that I could have got a very long sentence. Therefore, I was forced to pack my bags and leave the country urgently.
There were interesting and fascinating conversations at the DDIA. I especially liked being asked why I was writing about coronavirus, patients and their relatives. How could I do it after giving the Hippocratic oath? They also told me that a girl my size should not lift a 50 kg (LOL) barbell.
There was also a genuine resentment in the voice of the cops, who thought that it was ME to provoke such a negative attitude towards them through social networks. That it was US, doctors, who diagnosed the riot police officers with some kind of cramping so that they can’t work (I have nothing to do with these patients at all).
In fact, I have always set the goal of telling people the truth. So that they know that coronavirus is dangerous, unlike it is said on TV. So that cases of brutal violence against civilians are not kept quiet, because it violates human rights, and it is unacceptable!
By the way, for the coronavirus tweets I have repeatedly gone to report to the administration of my hospital, thereafter I was released from the duties in the profile departments (although I sincerely wanted to learn something new in the first place, everyone decided that I was talking too much).
In general, it’s all just some kind of humiliation. However, the only thing I regret and why I get a bad conscience is that I can’t work now and fight Covid-19 with my colleagues. They are having a difficult time right now: there are no places in the departments, there are not enough oxygen points, it is horrible.
Despite all the negative moments, I loved my job, I liked to communicate with patients and to make time for them whenever possible, and I devoted myself to work a little more than completely, and wanted to be a good specialist. In short, despite all this they told me to fuck off, that’s how it is going.
I want to thank everyone who, in one way or another, contributed to the prevailing truth and justice; I saw Belarusians in a new light, and I’m really proud to be with you!
From the explanations, I can say this: I was initially summoned because of the reports of rape against detainees (for this reason, I deleted the post). I was still going to the police department with complete confidence, that I would tell how it all had actually happened, the policemen would believe me, then investigate, find the guilty ones and punish them!
I was even going to go there without a lawyer, can you imagine? As it turned out later, the lawyer decides and defends. When three men are sitting in front of you and certainly are pressing you, forcing you to say almost what you have no idea about, that is the lawyer who will help out. And at that time everything was rather fine.
But things have been moving so fast that I was summoned to the DDIA again the following day (!) That time they went over the entire account — an amazing hours-long conversation (definitely no). They also offered to shoot a video, most likely for Belarus 1 channel. But I wisely renounced this fame.
In general, the second conversation in DDIA did not end well. I still remember this barely contained triumph on the face of the person who told me that the case was going to be transferred to the investigative committee. It looked like “AHA YOU WON’T WRITE ANYTHING NEVER AGAIN”. Actually, the investigative committee called me around five days later.
It’s like a movie, when you run into an apartment straight from the police department, pack your things and don’t know exactly what to grab on. You have not slept for several nights, due to stress your stomach hurts mercilessly; your whole family is on edge, and meanwhile, you start to realize that you are in a deep ass, and no one is able to help.
I realized that it doesn’t matter what kind of information I post. A person appeared — a doctor who speaks a lot and who is believed by people, and it is possible to use her to record reports, where she sits on the couch and reads from a piece of paper, how she regrets what she had done. All I know is that it was supposed to be an EXPLANATORY performance.
So I had no options. Either public humiliation (although I do not think that I made something wrong, covering certain events) and serve a sentence in the prison (so that others would not disdain), or leave immediately. I left my home, car, work, my family — everything I had …”