A Call for Solidarity with Belarusian Prisoners


by – Submissions

Minsk, Belarus – On February 20, a Minsk court sentenced two anarchists to seven years in a high security prison camp. Later the punishment was changed to 4 and 3.5 years. Anarchists Nikita Emelyanov and Ivan Komar were accused of throwing light bulbs with paint into the building of the Minsk City Court. In addition, the verdict alleges that they made two Molotov cocktails and threw them into the building of the Detention Center in Minsk. The first cocktail did not catch fire, the second left a mark on the door of the building. The court claims that traces of paint caused damage of 143 rubles 22 kopecks ($ 64.19), and traces of the Molotov cocktail caused 1 ruble 48 kopecks ($ 0.66).

At the trial, Emelyanov said that these actions were carried out in solidarity with prisoner anarchist Dmitry Polienko and other political prisoners.

In Belarus, society is crushed by the state apparatus, and therefore there is almost nobody to stand up for prisoners. The matter is complicated by the fact that formally, the use of Molotov cocktails can be considered a form of violence. Although they were used only for symbolic action, this could cut public support.

In addition, some anarchist sites (for example, the Anarchist Black Cross – Belarus) claim that Komar gave full information about these affairs to the investigation, which helped build the case and put Komar himself and his comrade in prison. The text of the verdict states that Komar puts all the blame for the share on Emelyanov. Such actions are considered immoral among the anarchists, so the support of both prisoners among anarchists can be limited.

However, we believe it is more important to get people out of prison first. And then consider the immoral acts of one of them. The court in Belarus does not work through abstract laws and rights; it makes decisions which politicians from above will come up with. Therefore, justice depends only on public pressure on politicians. Belarusian anarchists need your help.


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