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How to properly collect evidence of repression against yourself for future rehabilitation

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After the fall of the regime, the new, legitimate government of Belarus will rehabilitate the victims of its criminal actions and illegal decisions. All those in custody and arrest for political reasons will be immediately released. All repressed people will be able to count on compensation and comprehensive assistance.

If you have been repressed, we recommend you to collect evidence of this now to expedite the future review of your case by the National Rehabilitation Commission. And how to do it correctly, we suggest learning from our cards.

Let us also recall the request to the repressed to share their stories with us. This will help us develop a digital platform where data on victims will be accumulated. Tell us about your case — write to us at Justice@belarus-nau.org. We guarantee you anonymity and confidentiality, and you can find instructions at this link.

Demand originals and make both physical and digital copies of all documents related to a politically motivated case against you, regardless of its nature. The detention protocol and its order, the receipt for the payment of the fine or stay on the "day" - any documents will become the most important part of the evidence base, which will be taken into account by the National Rehabilitation Commission.

Store originals and photocopies of documents where they will not be lost, even during a hypothetical search.

Contact lawyers and human rights defenders. They will provide you with legal support, document your persecution, and help collect evidence.

Here are some of the human rights organizations working in Belarus:

If you were tortured or beaten by law enforcement officials while being apprehended, escorted, or in custody or arrest, undergo a medical examination. This can be done in both a public and private healthcare facility. Be sure to keep your medical report.

In addition, you can report the measures of excessive physical pressure against you to the organization"Human Rights Defenders Against Torture".

Enlist the support of witnesses who will agree to appear in the court of New Belarus confirming the fact of repressions against you. These can be colleagues or classmates who are aware of the pressure exerted on you by the management of a company or university, friends or strangers who witnessed your detention or violence against you, and even "neighbors" in the cell where you had to serve your arrest.

Exchange contacts with like-minded people. Their help can be invaluable, including in the process of your rehabilitation.

If you are about to have a conversation with the management at the place of work or study, which carries threats or is fraught with sanctions with political motives — from reprimand and deprivation of an award to dismissal and expulsion from the university — turn on the recorder in advance. If necessary, you can record the conversation secretly.

According to the law, the court is not obliged, but it has the right to accept as evidence even an audio recording made without the knowledge of all persons participating in the conversation, and in New Belarus it will have additional motivation to restore justice.

All of the above applies equally to video recordings.

If you are being threatened over the phone, record such calls using special applications. If it happened through social networks or instant messengers in text form, take screenshots of such messages. Psychological pressure is also a repression.

Remember also that an SMS, messenger message or a call from a person posing as a law enforcement or judicial officer does not replace a subpoena and that you are not required by law to respond to such messages and calls.

Record all digital materials — photos of documents, audio and video recordings, screenshots — that may become evidence of reprisals against you and keep it in a safe place.

In addition, digital content can be uploaded to the cloud, which only you and people you trust will have access to. As an additional security measure, you can create a new account for this purpose, which you will not use on a daily basis.

Record — not only in memory, but also on some storage in some form — all the circumstances under which you were subjected to reprisals: time, place, persons involved.

All of this will come in handy for applying for a digital platform for the formation of cases of victims of repression, and for the consideration of your case by the National Rehabilitation Commission, and at court hearings.

Justice will certainly prevail, and it will happen very soon!

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