Jauhen Rubashka’s last word in court
Before the final accusation, I wrote down inconsistencies, points for clarification and counterarguments during the trial. After the final accusation, the need for them disappeared. And it’s not even that the absurd and untenable state prosecution – which echoes the vision of GUBOPiK (Main Directorate for Combating Organized Crime and Corruption of the MVD [ed. note: the chief surveillance and repression apparatus]) – would be brilliantly defeated during the debate by our defenders in the legal field within the framework of the Criminal Code of the Republic of Belarus. But the thing is, “some cases are not for the law to decide”. This case is about the “stylized “A”s in a circle on our laptops, humanistic books that can evoke dangerous thoughts, cardboard garlands and reflectors in black and red, and even a red and black bag of earth. It is a matter of thought-crime, in particular, of anarchism.
My worldview – how I think and what I believe – is a purely personal matter. The Criminal Code of the Republic of Belarus applies so far only to actions. But let’s get back to anarchism.
What does the public prosecutor mean by it? The overthrow of the state system, inciting social hatred, riots, extremist destructive activity. What do I mean by it? Solidarity and mutual aid, personal and collective freedom and responsibility, rejection of oppression in its many forms.
As an anarchist, for 10 years I’ve been cooking for the homeless and poor people on the streets of Minsk, which the “welfare state” does not care about, unlike military parades. As an anarchist I have been involved in various educational, social and environmental projects. As an anarchist, I contributed to the preservation of the Kotovka Square in Selkhozposelok. As an anarchist, I do not consider it acceptable to kill and exploit animals. As an anarchist, I am ready to simply help a person in any way I can.
These are the extremist actions that I consider manifestations of my anarchist views. My anarchism is idealistic, pompous, radical, but creative, not destructive. There is no extremist formation “Pramen”! “Pramen” is an anarchist media resource, that is, the media, and the statement of the state prosecutor that this resource writes only about its participants would mean that if Belarus Today writes about the harvest, then all collective farmers are related to the editorial office of the newspaper.
The judge reprimanded me for my laughter at the Kafkaesque absurdity of the trial, for my remarks, and even for swearing (if it was audible) when I was overwhelmed with indignation. I’m guilty of being a living person with emotions, and I don’t know how to read out “confessions” with the expressionless face of the state prosecutor, when it is known that they were written in the torture cell or after torture and beatings by GUBOPiK in the Investigative Committee.
And if today we are being judged according to the Criminal Code of the Republic of Belarus, then there should not be those who are more equal than others. As a reminder that the law is for everyone, I would like to quote from the protocol of the decision of the tribunal over the Nazi judges.
“The defendants and their colleagues distorted, reversed, and in the end achieved the complete destruction of justice and law in Germany. They made the judiciary an integral part of the dictatorship. They removed any semblance of judicial independence. They threatened those who got into the courts, intimidated them, deprived them of their fundamental rights. The “trials” they carried out were horrible farces, with rudimentary remnants of legal procedure that were nothing but a mockery of the unfortunate victims!”
We determine our lives by our own personal and collective choices. Someone chooses to inscribe their names in the history of political repression. And if someone involved in them gets hiccups, then know that your names are remembered by political prisoners who are in prison, and with them their relatives and friends, and with them the whole country.
And my final word will not be spoken until all are free!