Marek Migalski: Democratization of Belarus is my most sincere interest
18:16, — Politics
The office of European deputy Marek Migalski has started an action of solidarity with political prisoners – Mikalai Statkievich and Dzmitry Dashkievich.
Marek Migalski told charter97.org what he expects from the new solidarity action, whether he considers the liberation of Dzmitry Bandarenka and Siargiei Kavalenka his merit, and what the victory of democracy in Belarus would mean for him.
- We’ve often heard you say that the struggle for democracy in Belarus is your job that you get paid for…
- Helping the democratic community in Belarus has obviously become a part of my life, one of my major interests, but first of all, yes, this is my job, the job that I get paid for by European tax-payers. As a deputy of the European Parliament, I have the opportunity to impact the situation in some ways, to raise the Belarusian issue at the highest level in Europe. Yes, this is my job, but at the same time, this is my most sincere interest.
- Have you been criticized for your actions?
- Of course I have. It is inevitable. Sometimes when you help a child cross the street, someone will call you a good person, and someone will say: why have you helped only one child? Someone can even call you a pedophile. That’s the way things are, if you’re not a hundred-dollar bill, there’ll always be people to criticize you. But for a politician, the most important thing is not to be loved, but to work for positive results.
- So there are people who criticize you for helping the Belarusians?
- Yes, there are. Some people ask: “Why would you solve other people’s problems? We have lots of problems here in Poland!” I always reply that I cannot choose between my right and left legs, I want to walk on both of them. I mean that I cannot do one thing and ignore another.
- For several days ago in Strasbourg you took part in the debates on Belarus and Georgia. There you were talking about the Polish Foreign Ministry disclosing financial data of the opposition activists to the Belarusian powers. Why do you think this is happening? Is it a result of a sequence of mistakes or of planned actions?
- I raised the issue during the debates because personally I feel very sorry that Poland is involved in such affairs. As a matter of fact, I don’t support the acting government, but this is not the point. The point is that this is my country, and when I hear that Poland is responsible for the arrest of Ales Bialatski, that disclosing the funds given to 30 Belarusian oppositionists in its letters to Belarus, the Polish Foreign Ministry denounces them to Lukashenka, I feel ashamed. And in Strasbourg, I apologized to the Belarusians. Not because I have done something wrong, but because my state has acted this way. In the best case, this is just a misunderstanding, a stupid act, but in the worst case this is the work of mysterious special services. I’d like to believe that this is just a mistake of the authorities.
- In your mind, what would unite the Belarusian opposition once and for all?
- Only the Belarusian opposition can decide what or who they will unite around. Democracy is based on the principle that everyone decides for themselves, and nobody has the right to impose a point of view. Quite recently I have seen 12 representatives of the Belarusian oppositionist circles sign the Brussels Declaration. They all demanded one thing – the European Union’s support for democratic changes in Belarus, liberation and rehabilitation of all political prisoners. And for me, it was a crucial moment. They have shown that in this very situation, varied Belarusian forces can unite around common values.
- Last Saturday an action of solidarity with political prisoners Mikalai Statkievich and Dzmitry Dashkievich began on your initiative. What are your expectations?
- The action of solidarity with Dzmitry Bandarenka and Siargiei Kavalenka has been the most significant project in my career. Luckily, today these people are free. I don’t know to what extent my actions have favored their liberation. Maybe they had no impact at all, and maybe these people were released later than the Belarusian powers had planned because of my advocacy. However, I think my actions have had a certain positive effect. And today I am ready to fight for liberation of two more Belarusian political prisoners. Thus, the action of solidarity with Mikalai Statkievich and Dzmitry Dashkievich begins now. A special website has been launched to support the cause: www.2free.eu. The website will become a virtual meeting point for the people who really want to see Statkievich and Dashkievich free. I hope that this project will be as successful as the liberation project of Bandarenka and Kavalenka.