Updated at 14:37,26-01-2021

“I Don’t Even Think Of Leaving.” Miss Belarus Released After 42 Days In Detention


“I Don’t Even Think Of Leaving.” Miss Belarus Released After 42 Days In Detention
Miss Belarus 2008 and former press secretary of Brest Dynamo Olga Khizhinkova was released. She served 42 days of arrest for participating in a number of unauthorised protest rallies.

Before the end of her jail term, Olga Khizhinkova was transferred from an isolation centre for offenders in Minsk to Zhodino. There, she was met by her relatives and close friends.

In a brief interview with TUT.BY journalist, who spent ten days with Olga in the same cell, she said: “A week ago, the heating in our cell was turned off, there were strong draughts from the window. They fixed the faucet and the toilet but then took away the mattresses without any explanation. We slept on the floor, spread out blankets and wrapped ourselves in clothes. I was wearing two jerseys, two turtlenecks, three hoodies – all that I had. One woman got cystitis because of this.”

Many believe that public figures detained in connection with taking part in rallies get “special treatment” by authorities who are taking revenge on them in this way. Nonetheless, the model has no plans of leaving the country: “I do not want to leave. I want to live here, I have many friends here, I had no idea I have so many of them. I don’t even think about it, I love my country, I want to live and work here.”

The 34-year-old was detained on 8 November during a protest rally in Minsk. Three days later she was sentenced to 12 days of arrest for violation of the procedures for organizing or conducting public events. A witness of her arrest was wearing a balaclava and gave confusing testimony in court. And as a result, the case was sent back for revision.

A day later, she was tried under the same article of the administrative code for the second episode, and 15 more days of arrest were added to her jail time. Shortly afterwards, the third trial took place, and the term of her arrest increased to 42 days. Initially, Olga was expected to be released 15 days after the third trial, that is, on 11 December. On that day, her husband, friends and athletes came to meet her but were told that she would remain in custody.