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Story of Vitaly Kuznechik and Vladislav Kuznechik - Face of Protest #20

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Vitaly Kuznechik and his son Vladislav Kuznechik have been living in the Swedish embassy in Minsk for a year already, hiding from the law enforcement officers of Belarus

On September 11, 2020, in the midst of mass protests against falsified election results, two Belarusians came to the Swedish Embassy in Minsk. Vitaly and Vladislav Kuznechik, father and son, rang the bell and asked for protection, explaining that the police were looking for them and they feared for their lives. Having been refused, they climbed over the fence and remained on the embassy grounds.

A few days earlier Vitali Kuznechik (47 years old) and his son Vladislav (29 years old), had participated in a solidarity march in Vitebsk: law enforcement officers had thrown Vitaly to the ground, started beating him and sprayed gas in his face. Vladislav rushed to save his father, pushed the law enforcers aside and as a result they both managed to escape.

"I have never regretted the fact that I fought off my father from the punitive law enforcement officers," - says Vladislav Kuznechik.

Both men were immediately prosecuted and faced up to six years in prison. After the protest, the men went into hiding for several days and after learning about the surveillance of their relatives, father and son went to the Swedish embassy.

At the Swedish Embassy, men were given their own room with beds, a shower, a toilet, a washing machine, a multicooker, a refrigerator and utensils. The men cook their own food and get fresh air at any time. But, of course, such a life is not ideal.

The Swedish diplomatic mission cannot extradite Vitaly and Vladislav to the Belarusian authorities: the Committee against Torture obliged Sweden to refrain from actions that would lead to the detention of the men and ensure their immunity

"You think and worry not about yourself but about the family. Of course, it’s hard for them financially, because the money was earned by me. The ideal solution for us is to live in our own country without fear for the future, but this will be possible when there are new fair elections and the law returns," says Vladislav Kuznechik.

The men confirms the information previously has appeared in the media that they need a medical examination, but, according to them, this issue is being resolved.

The actions of the Lukashenka regime lead to the situations where Belarusians are forced to use absolutely any means to stay safe.

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