Blog written for Amnesty International by Belarusian youth activist Alyaksei Bondar, who was sentenced to two years of 'restricted freedom' on 22 April 2008.
I’ve been in Moscow for more than a year, having come here to escape
persecution. Since I am on a wanted list, I have to live and work here
illegally. It is not very pleasant to live knowing that any day my life
can change dramatically and I will find myself behind the bars for a
“crime” such as the peaceful expression of my opinion.
Moscow is a very interesting city but at the same time it is
complicated and difficult to live in; it has a heavy feel. Crowds of
people everywhere, as well as constant traffic jams, create tension. In
general, it is difficult to understand Russia.
The majority of my friends remain in Belarus; therefore I am spending a
lot of time communicating through the internet but I don’t have enough
I would very much like to study something in the field of politics or
economics. However, everything is very uncertain here and I have to
evaluate my opportunities and risks. On the other hand, I don’t want to
However, not everything is so bad. I have met my other half here :-) We
love to go for a walk in the old town of Moscow, to visit theatres and
spend time outside the city.
On the whole, I look at life, as before, optimistically, with humour.
Freedom is inside us; no authority can break a man as long as Freedom
lives inside him. For every new day of Freedom, I thank God and the
people who supported and support me in life.