LETTER
Belarus: An open letter from Andrei Aliaksandrau on his day in court

Our former colleague writes to his supporters as his trial on charges of treason opens in Belarus

06 Jun 2022
BY INDEX ON CENSORSHIP

Andrei Aliaksandrau before his detention

Dear friends

For the four months since the final charge was brought against me, I have hardly received any letters and I don’t know if my letters reach those I continue to write regularly to; more or less stable postal communications remain only with my parents.

But I know and feel your support from rare, undiverted carrier pigeons, regular cute sendings and delicious parcels, for which I am constantly grateful;

I know that many of my friends and colleagues were going to see me at trial in our case that begins on 6 June; but our trial will be closed “for the purpose of not disclosing a secret protected by the law”. What kind of secret this is, I don’t know yet, it is too well protected, and I have stayed in the pre-trial detention centre under investigation for even less than a year and a half; how am I to know?

Perhaps the secret is that the people who will be judged are not guilty of anything; at the very least, I will not plead guilty to what I am accused of.

I am going to the court without unnecessary illusions, but with a clear conscience, and even with excitement.

I will see at last the people dear to me; it is a pity, of course, that I will see them in the dock, but this is now a popular meeting place for good people; and I will be in this place next to good people whose friendship I am proud of.

Irina Levshina is a person with a kind heart and iron principles, a super editor, a pro of the highest level. Dima Novozhilov is exceptionally decent, dutiful, responsive and supportive (another undeniable advantage is that he is a Liverpool fan). And Irina Zlobina is a person with the most unimaginable combination of kindness, intelligence, and beauty in all its forms that I have met in my life.

I’m a happy man. Only a really lucky man could get into such high-class company. Only a really lucky man could get all of you as friends – fellow citizens, colleagues, kind and good people. Thank you for all your warmth, solidarity and support! With them, I feel absolutely calm and steady. It is a pity that I cannot personally congratulate my mother on her birthday, which she will celebrate one of these days. But we will definitely catch up. Life goes on. We go on. History – our history – keeps moving on. Nothing ends.

Let’s write further. Hugs.

Andrei

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