Sergey Tikhanovsky: 1400 Days in Captivity

Volha Zazulinskaya - guardian of political prisoner Sergey Tikhanovsky talks about participation in the joint information campaign of our Foundation and the initiative in support of political prisoners "Until All Are Free".

"Today marks exactly 1400 days since Sergey has been illegally held captive. Yes, that's the word that fits best. It's not imprisonment; it's indeed captivity. Everything that's happening to my ward and everything that has happened during this time can confidently be called torture against him.

Sergey Tikhanovsky is kept in a solitary cell, periodically being moved to the SHIZO cell. Apparently, the jailers and the regime find it insufficient to simply hold him illegally; they even strive to create unbearable conditions for Sergey and all political prisoners. For over a year, he hasn't been allowed to see lawyers or receive parcels. Even correspondence with his children has been interrupted.

I often think about how for almost 4 years Sergey hasn't seen his loved ones, and most importantly, he hasn't seen his son and daughter grow up. Perhaps he remembers them still as children, but their childhood ended in 2020. Agnia is saving money in her piggy bank to buy a tank to free her dad. A girl who could have been playing the piano, dressing up dolls, riding bikes in the yard, and sneakily putting on her mom's favorite lipstick, is saving up for a tank! Just imagine what goes through a child's mind! It's terrifying that our children are going through all this horror and injustice. Yes, I call them our children because 2020 showed us all that we don't divide problems into ours and others', we are ready to empathize and help each other, and the pain of every individual became our collective pain.

Sergey Tikhanovsky was sentenced to 19.5 years in prison just for speaking to people in a language they understand. Only because he gave a microphone to everyone, whether they supported the bloody regime or not. He didn't aim to talk to opponents of the illegitimate regime; he simply wanted people to hear each other regardless of where they live (from the smallest and most remote villages to the largest cities), regardless of their social group, education, or occupation. That's why he was deemed an enemy. Because he encroached on the electorate of the regime not elected by the people. It's precisely this segment of the population that has been indoctrinated for years to believe that everything is fine for them.

I am scared! Scared that political prisoners are dying in prisons. Scared that it's becoming harder and harder to find help. Scared of helplessness and pain. But despite all the horrors, I will speak about my ward Sergey Tikhanovsky on every platform, through every available resource, so that the voices of our heroes resonate through the prison walls!"

Sergei Tikhanovsky is a Belarusian blogger, author of the YouTube channel “A Country to Live in”. He was detained on May 29, 2020, and later convicted. Total up to 19.5 years in prison.

Volha Zazulinskaya is the head of "A Country to Live in" Foundation, human rights activist, and coordinator of the project of assistance to families of political prisoners.
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