Bondarenko: We have the classic Latin American dictatorship
One of the Belarusian opposition leaders Dmitri Bondarenko, recently released, gave an interview to Ukrainian magazine "Correspondent".
In the interview with Dmitry Bondarenko told about his life in prison, about the features of Alexander Lukashenko's regime and about the prospects of Belarus.
Bondarenko was sentenced to two years in prison on charges of disturbing public order and incitement to rioting on December 19, 2010 during the mass protest against the falsification of election results.
On April 15, he was released from Mogilev prison number 1. Ally of Bondarenko - Andrei Sannikov, who became the main competitor of Alexander Lukashenko in 2010 elections was released a day earlier.
In February, Bondarenko had to write the Belarusian ruler an appeal for pardon, as in prison he had developed serious health problems - the oppositionist had surgery on his spine and needs further treatment.
As international analysts and Belarusian oppositionists are sure, the unexpected release of two prominent political prisoners was the result of political pressure from the European Union, which while demanding the release of prisoners, has introduced new sanctions against Minsk, recalling its ambassadors.
After the release, Lukashenko warned the oppositionists "not rattle their tongues", otherwise they will be back behind bars. However, Bondarenko intends to continue his activities.
On the question of "Correspondent" magazine what were the conditions of being in jail, the opposition leader said that in Belarus actually the Soviet camps have remained, although there are some changes related to the achievements of civilization, such as televisions.
"But by its aesthetics it is the old Soviet system. People are dressed in padded jackets, hats with earflaps, in uncomfortable shoes. Food in my area was better than in other places. But, of course, there are no vitamins, no fruits and vegetables, practically part of the people just a half-starved", said Bondarenko.
Commenting on his own phrase that Belarus is covered by a network of prison camps and colonies, the opposition leader said: "Official information: on 100 thousand people in Belarus there are twice more prisoners than in Kazakhstan or Ukraine, several, sometimes dozens of times - in comparison with EU countries. We have 22 colonies, prisons and dozens of so-called chemistry (forced labor), there are free settlements. If to map all of them [the detention places] , then it's really the dense network. at the same time there are tens of thousands of sentenced and thousands of people, who guard them. This is such a camp in the heart of Europe".
Bondarenko indicated that over seriously considers Lukashenka's threats: "I do understand that at any moment we can go back to jail, and there is already experience, when prisoners who were pardoned again went to prison. And I also do not rule out I can "accidentally" died of a heart attack, stroke, or "accidentally" hit by a car".
According to the oppositionist in Belarus there is a political regime, characteristic of the Latin American countries, when the private ownership is 15-20% and the ruling clan uses 80% of the property and wealth: "We have in this regard, the classic Latin American dictatorship."
Commenting on the political situation in Belarus, Bondarenko quoted Natan Sharanski, the prominent Israeli politician, who wrote: "Little dictatorship exists, while there is a support of a big dictatorship". "So: while Russia will support the Belarusian regime, there is a little chance for a change", said the coordinator of the opposition movement "European Belarus".