According to Iryna Sukhij, the chairperson of the “Eco House”, detentions of the ecologists before the action can be explained by the authorities’ wish to leave this action to people they know well.
Let us recall that half an hour before the action started Iryna Sukhij, as well as Volha Kanavalava, Vasil Semyanikhin and Kanstantsin Kirylenka, the activists of the antinuclear movement were detained when leaving the apartment. After three hours that were necessary for “identification” of the detained the ecologists were released.
Iryna, on the threshold of the event in the interview to the “EuroBelarus” Information Service you were just speaking about “Chernobyl Path” to be getting closer to the point. How can you comment on what has happened on April 26 then?
- It seems that the authorities have done everything possible for the “Chernobyl Path” to remain a politicised protest move it has always used to be, so that it would be a copy of the Freedom Day manifestation without any new-comers. I see no other reasons for our detention. We are peaceful ecologists and couldn’t possibly undertake any radical actions.
- How it all has been happening?
- We were peacefully leaving our apartment with bags full of banners, emblems, etc. It was the bags that supposedly attracted the attention of the police – and this is where the excuse to arrest us comes from: the police said that in these areas they witness an increased frequency of residential burglary cases. I came back to my apartment for my passport but being an inexperienced detainee I made a mistake and passed it over to the police officers immediately. The police officer took my documents and asked me to the minibus with the plainclothes police. And in the District Department of Internal Affairs they kept “inferring” my identity for three hours, literally dismissing me from participation in the demonstration by this.
- But still, in your opinion, what was the reason for your detention?
- I think that the authorities have managed to hear us at last, in their own way. And discerned the threat to its nuclear plans, which is not in their interests. It is easier to work with one and the same people for the authorities, that it why the usual political format of the path is more comfortable for them, as well as the general apathy of the society.
When the building of the nuclear power plant in Astravets hasn’t been part of the real life yet, I thought that any responsible person, any Belarusan can’t vote for the presence of the nuclear power in the country after the Chernobyl catastrophe. But as it turned out, the philistine ideology has mesmerized the majority of people and people became apathetic and indifferent to such a degree that all nuclear plans of the state are absolutely feasible.
- Have you expected such attention to yourself and your counterparts?
- Frankly speaking, I haven’t. We were relaxed, discussed our plans and actions over the phone – the demonstration was authorized, after all; everything was legal, the ecologists were not preparing anything provocative. After the April 26th’s events we will act differently.