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12.03.2014

Iryna Khalip presents Inmate's diary  ? photos

13:27, — Politics

Iryna Khalip presents Inmate's diary

Everyone made a choice on December 19, 2010. Some chose freedom, others chose life imprisonment.

Iryna Khalip, a journalist for Novaya Gazeta, presented her book Inmate's Diary in Warsaw. The book contains short stories about the events after December 19, 2010, when Iryna Khalip and her husband, presidential candidate Andrei Sannikov, were thrown behind bars. Belarusian political prisoners are main characters of the book.

The presentation took place in the Belarusian House in Warsaw on March 11. The room was decorated with newspaper pages with Iryna's articles. Uladzimir Kobets, the director of the Belarusian House, opened the event.

The presentation was attended by Novaya Gazeta's editor-in-chief Dmitry Muratov, Gazeta Wyborcza's editor-in-chief Adam Michnik, editor-in-chief of charter97.org Natallia Radzina, coordinators of the civil campaign European Belarus and former political prisoners Zmitser Bandarenka and Aliaksandr Atroshchankau, publisher Alexander Czernuszewicz, leader of Tell the Truth campaign Uladzimir Niakliaeu, director of the Belarusian House in Warsaw Ales Zarembiuk, director of the Belarusian office of the International Republican Institute (IRI) Jake Johns, journalists and Iryna Khalip's friends, a chartger97.org correspondent reports.

Iryna Khalip said how the book had been written.

First of all, I'd like to note that I am not a writer. I am not going to publish books every year. Somebody just wanted me to write the book. I began to make notes in prison, after my parents had passed me a notebook with a pink cover. I made notes just not to forget everything. I didn't know how long I would remain in jail. I understood I could have sclerosis or Alzheimer's disease by the time of my release and I would need the diary to restore the past events. The notebook was useful. Later, when I was under house arrest, I continued making notes. I didn't think it could result in a book. I just thought I needed to write not to forget things. On the day when I was released from custody and given a two-year suspended sentence, Novaya Gazeta's editor-in-chief Dmitry Muratov came to Minsk and said: 'You must write a column on Monday, start working.' So, I wrote columns every week. I understood that I needed a book to keep the memories together. A Polish publisher, or to be more precise, a Belarusian living in Poland, Alexander Czernuszewicz, found me and offered to publish a book. My husband was released from jail. I tried to write more, but then I decided I should stop. I hope I will not have to write books any more. I say it honestly. I hope I will never go again through what I went to write this book, Iryna Khalip said.

The journalist said it's very important that the presentation was in Warsaw, the city where her family had lived.

I'd like to say the circle has closed. My book is published in Warsaw, the town my family had lived until 1939. The part of the family, that could flee to the east, fled in 1939. The other part, that didn't have time to do it, died in the Warsaw Ghetto. Nevertheless, the story made a circle and returned to Warsaw. The important part of my life has returned to where my family comes from, Iryna Khalip said.


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