Nobel Laureate Svetlana Alexievich was called to the Investigative Committee. She will be questioned in a criminal case over what Alexander Lukashenko calls an attempt to seize power, after nearly two weeks of mass rallies against rigged election and police brutality.
On 20 August, Belarus Prosecutor General Aleksandr Konyuk stated that a criminal case was opened against the Coordination Council. Its members were accused of establishing a political body to organise the transition of power from the current head of state.
Today, people gathered to support Nobel laureate Svetlana Alexievich who arrived for questioning at the Investigative Committee in Minsk.
“I think each of you is proud of our people today. And, frankly, we did not have this feeling until recently, but today, when we see these thousand-strong rallies of people. And you should have seen these wonderful front pages [of newspapers] in the Western media, a kind of Belarus brand emerged.
That is, the Belarusians suddenly became a nation that the whole world learned about. They like that not a single lawn was destroyed, not a single display case was broken, that people behave with the dignity. And that we propose a new way, (…) propose a peaceful way of struggle. This is what present time demands of us. The time when a human life is precious and a person values it.”
“We need to talk to each other, and argue. We are different, but we have Belarus, one country… I think we need to be together, we should not give up, we must overcome by spirit, by the power of our ideals. It will be a long political reshuffle, that is for sure,” she said.
When asked how she sees the further development of events, Svetlana Alexievich responded that the world will help Belarus to establish a dialogue with Lukashenko. The interrogation lasted for about 40 minutes, Alexievich refused to testify against herself and she was released.
On 21 August, several members of the National Coordination Council were summoned to the Investigative Committee. Among them were Viktor Babriko’s lawyer Maxim Znak and leader of the MTZ strike committee Sergey Dylevsky.
On 25 August, police detained Olga Kovalkova, the aide of presidential candidate Svetlana Tikhanovskaya, and Sergey Dylevsky, both were later sentenced to 10 days in jail. Former Belarusian Minister Of Culture and Ambassador to France Pavel Latushko and lawyesr Lilia Vlasova were also called in for questioning.
On 26 August, representative of the joint headquarters Maria Kolesnikova was called in for questioning too. She is expected to testify as a witness on 27 August. The Coordination Council sees no violation of the law in its proposals to resolve the situation by a peaceful transition of power.
Its leadership includes Nobel Laureate Svetlana Aleksievich, ex-minister Pavel Latushko, lawyers Lilia Vlasova and Maxim Znak, leader of the MTZ strike committee Sergey Dylevsky, Tikhanoskaya’s aide Olga Kovalkova, representative of the joint headquarters Maria Kolesnikova.