Inquiry lasted 19 hours. Finally they took off the handcuffs

Valentina Alinevich, mother of the political prisoner Ihar Alinevich passed to our editorial staff the extracts from her son’s diary.

“I want people to pay attention to what’s happening in our country,- says Valentina. Today it’s an inhuman treatment and tortures of our relatives and children, but tomorrow the same thing can happen to you and your children”.

The extracts from Ihar Alinevich’s diary were published by the web site

I could say only “I don’t know”, “No, I wasn’t there” and I was loosing consciousness again. Second rule says “Don’t be afraid”. The one who is scared, looses everything. If you show you’re frightened—they’ll get you. They took this hat form my eyes for a while. There was only one man sitting at the table: “You’re a good guy. Engineer, healthy life-style, doing sports… You shouldn’t ruin yourself like this. I understand that many things you’re (meaning opposition) saying is right, but the realization is suffering. Why don’t you just let it down?”

They pulled the hat on my eyes again. Somebody new came in. He didn’t speak a lot, but with a suggestion, selected phrases and specific intonation started to convince me that I was such a coward… Waiting again. I want to drink a lot and also to ask a ciggie from somebody. But I knew I couldn’t do that. The third rule is “Don’t ask”. Any demand makes the psychological ambiance softer and it can be enough to let them dominate.

They took off my hat, brought some food. Police operatives are sitting lack-luster, tired.  We’re waiting for something, for a long time. I see a light through a little window. It means it’s already a day. Then we get up and go through corridors, stairs, passages in the inside yard, passing the multiple rooms with a plate “Interrogation is on”. They took me to the investigator. Here’s also a lawyer. Everything is done the way it should be done. They hand me the arrest warrant accusing me in the move near Okrestina (prison). They start the inquiry. It’s 16.00. I have been here for a day already. The inquiry lasted 19 hours. They finally took off the handcuffs../ This wonderful feeling of ability to move hands…

A search. They took away my things, took my boots, gave some old slippers. I can’t stand it anymore, I’m falling asleep right on the bench. They’re getting me up, taking to the big round hall with massive walls.  A narrow ladder to the second floor. I have a feeling I’m in some kind of symbiosis of anti-nuclear bunker and the Coliseum. A horizontal grating separates the first floor from the second. In the middle – a security console with a phone. The escort takes me in a roundabout way along the doors, one by one. In my hands are mattress, pillow, sheets. Stopping, the door no 3 opens and I enter in the cell. Nobody’s here. 2 iron beds with iron rods, two stools built-in the wall. The same table. In the corner there’s a plastic basket with a cover. On the bedside table I see a tray with potatoes, herring and juice. A little window behind the double grating in the shape of muzzle connects with an outside world. World which is a brick wall for me. The door closes with a clang. I fall down on the mattress and immediately fall asleep.

I woke from the senior warrant officer who came in the cell and ask for a report. “There’s one person in the cell, there’s no letters or written requests, a walk for 1 hour. Alinevich is on the cell duty” – that’s how it sounded every day. The time was crawling. I had nothing to do. Incredible cold and draught, but I couldn’t wrap myself in a blanket. For those who are here without warm clothes it’s a real torture. The lack of shoes hits you. The feet are cold in any socks, even knitted ones. Wrapping feet in the sweater—only that can help. But these are small things. The most important is the permanent silence, and the lack of time. Sometimes you can hear the steps, the squeak of handcuffs, clank of “manger” (vertical little door inside the door for giving the food), notification hits on the door, whistle and whisper of controllers (they weren’t talking!).

In couples of days you’re able to catch and recognize the slightest sounds. The manger is opened several times a day: breakfast, lunch, dinner and medicine. The door opens 4 times: mornings and evenings to go to the toilet, plus in the morning for the round of man on duty, and one more for the walk out (if there is one). And that’s how it goes for months, for some people even for years with a 24-hour luminescent lighting.

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