Nadezhda Belova: "People whom I defended wrote denunciations against me..."

Nadezhda Belova: "People whom I defended wrote denunciations against me..."
Nadezhda Belova: "People whom I defended wrote denunciations against me..."
8 October 2020, 12:05Society
A civil activist from the Voronezh region is being tried for allegedly “justifying terrorism,” but in fact for successfully defending the rights of her fellow countrymen.

Yesterday in Voronezh, the first hearing was held in the case of 36-year-old Nadezhda Belova, who is being tried under the article on justifying terrorism for comments on the social network about the explosion in the building of the Arkhangelsk FSB department in 2018.

The story of the Voronezh activist Nadezhda Belova reminds the recent story of the Pskov journalist Svetlana Prokopyeva - both of them became victims of criminal prosecution on charges brought against the security forces: only for the fact that back in 2018 they commented on the explosion staged by 17-year-old Mikhail Zhlobitsky near the Arkhangelsk FSB building.

Leaving comments on the social network "Vkontakte", the defendant Nadezhda Belova "acted deliberately out of dislike for the current government and constitutional values", the prosecutor read out the indictment at the meeting, who insisted that, in particular, the comment "He is like martyr, and we will all die ”under the news of the self-detonation of a 17-year-old young man in the entrance of the Arkhangelsk FSB, is an excuse for terrorism. Belova herself explained earlier that at the time of writing the comment, only the explosion and one victim were known, and she believed that it was an FSB officer, and she called him a "martyr" by the activist. And the phrase itself was a reference to the words of President Vladimir Putin at the Valdai Club.

The investigators did not like another reference - in the comments she mentioned “Ryazan sugar” several times. This expression appeared after the discovery in 1999 in the basement of an apartment building in Ryazan of bags of sugar, allegedly containing hexogen. The accusation is based on psycho-long-linguistic expertise, which, for example, says that the author of the comments “negatively assesses the current government in Russia, as well as the activities of people who support Vladimir Putin’s policies, in particular the FSB officers.

It is also interesting that Belova's post, left on VKontakte, was deleted long ago, but - and this is the main thing - the local authorities remembered about it this spring after Nadezhda successfully carried out two actions - against the construction of a store in the parking lot in front of the hospital and against canceling direct minibuses from her native village Novaya Usman to Voronezh. It was this, according to Belova, that aroused the officials. Moreover, Nadezhda talks about the torture that the security forces were subjected to in order to obtain a confession. Belova was not just interrogated and searched, she was stripped naked and put in an isolation cell. She refused the testimony given under torture. Linguistic expertise found in that long-standing post of Belova "justification and propaganda of terrorism." In her interview with DW, the activist spoke about her life during the criminal prosecution. There are eerie details, for example, how people whom she helped with her actions wrote denunciations against her as a sign of "gratitude" ...

Here are just a few quotes:

“On the very first day, they said to me:“ Well, you've finished badly with your opposition activities”. Like, our goal is for you to stop performing - they will not jail now, they will jail the next time. Son in an orphanage, and you - in prison.

- And earlier, before the trial, it was clear that local officials did not like me. Their friends wrote insults to me, threatened that my son and I would be beaten on the way from school. I understood that the head of the village, the FSB officer, would not stop there. But I hoped it wouldn't be so scary. It turned out to be scary.

- I am not only not supported in my village, but they also make me sit down. They call it a crazy fool. I asked the local VKontakte group to write about my case, but the administrator blocked me. Some women, with whom I collected signatures against the cancellation of minibuses, wrote denunciations against me, and they were included in the case. Although they used to admire and say: "We wish we had such a head of the village!"

- People are intimidated so that they do not go to the media. Or they themselves think that it is embarrassing and scary to bring it to the public. They have to live and work here yet, and let the business end itself somehow. In our country, accusations of terrorism are perceived as drugs and pedophilia. It's a shame, no job and no future.

- I wondered whether to say that I was stripped naked in the isolation ward, am I ashamed? I even asked my son how he feels about it. He said that he was not ashamed, and that they were scum. So I decided that I had nothing to be ashamed of.

- When I told my husband that Irina Slavina was a hero, he abruptly cut off: “She’s not a hero, she surrendered, I’m a hero, I help you”. He is afraid that I will repeat after her.

- Of course, everyone is hinting at me for a time, but there is not a single proof of guilt! When we corresponded with Svetlana Prokopyeva, she said: "You will not be imprisoned because you are a girl and you have a child. There will be a fine, then - the ECHR (appeal of the case to the European Court of Human Rights - ed.)

- Of course, I have no money for a fine. My dad has a dacha, which, of course, I do not want to sell, but apparently I have to. I do not consider the term, because I see no reason in principle to live if there is a term. A prison in Russia is torture, decay, cold, hunger and humiliation. This is a slow execution.

“I’m really sorry that we didn’t have a civil society in Russia. Either after being detained, or after the isolation ward, I had the feeling that I had to tell everyone: "Guys, there is a civil war and repression. Either live carefully, like mice, or let's unite and fight". I'm an excellent student, I have to help everyone.

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