Letters from behind bars
Yahor Martsinovich, July 19
"We tried to withstand a tsunami, but we failed. Sadly, the space for the independent media to work has shrunk to the size of a cell in Akrestsina or Valadarka.
I have no regrets – and I think my arrested colleagues have none either – that we stayed in Belarus and worked in Belarus as long as we could. The national brand's work should continue with us or without us, because Nasha Niva is not Martinovich, Skurko, Dynko and Rakovich, it is a team of professional journalists and hundreds of thousands of readers.
How can you help us? Subscribe to our social media, to our Telegram channel! Read in Belarusian, repost in Belarusian, speak Belarusian! And when we are not hundreds of thousands, but millions, we will all be freed much sooner. Love Belarus!"
Yahor Martsinovich, July 22, a letter to his mother
"Hello from castle No. 1! I never thought I would be here on a tour, but it has to be done :) Today, I was outside for the first time in two weeks – it was awesome, even though just in the yard.
I have no idea what kind of solidarity campaign you are running, but an occasional neighbour recognized me and shouted: 'I know you! You're on every website! And your girlfriend is beautiful!' So my recognizability index is climbing :)
It is probably harder to look at it all from outside than to be here, inside. Nothing terrible is happening, I will come out eventually. I am a bit sad sometimes, but once you realise you're not alone, you have a great support, it's much better."
Quotes from Andrei Skurko's letters to his wife and parents
"I'm meeting wonderful, bright, interesting people here. It is a fascinating experience.
I can hear women singing folk songs and something from 'The Three Musketeers' in their cells and during walks. The city hall and the Red cathedral can be heard in the mornings and evenings and in the night, some owl living in the ruins is whooing."
"I'm reading the Pressbol newspaper here for the first time in my life. It's like in that DMB movie: 'In the medical ward, the demobee made friends with us because there was no one else to be friends with.'"
"What can happen to a person in prison? It is the safest place on the planet. There is no chance to even 'fall in battle for the Emperor and the whole most august family'" (quoting The Good Soldier Svejk).
"Don't worry, nobody stays here, everyone gets released".