Andrei Sannikov: The Chairman of the KGB threatened to kill my wife and son

Today in the Partizanskii District Court of Minsk the presidential candidate, Andrei Sannikov, told about threats from the Chairman of the KGB, Zaitsev, and about tortures in the KGB jail.

As reported by “Radio Svaboda”, Andrei Sannikov made a statement:

“They stretch you out. They could keep me in a cold room for a long time, and they forced me to squat down, though I had said that I had an injured leg. That had no effect. Later they allowed me to get dressed. This took place in the presence of people in masks, who were pounding on the walls and shouting crazily.

I was deprived of the right of correspondence for a month. I did not receive letters from relatives.

People in masks, who had been trained well, applied psychological pressure by the means of shouting and making loud crashing noises; they kicked me.

They kept me all the time in handcuffs – and it is possible to be held in handcuffs in various ways. They demonstrated cruel treatment. I am making this statement now, as the prosecutor has some questions concerning my testimony during the interrogations. I wrote in the KGB jail about tortures, and I was punished for that.

I was in a terrible condition under the (prison) bunks; I felt bad, with my leg injured.

Those in my cell who had experience advised me to do like the other candidates, who had written to Lukashenko.

When they charged me, I found out that my wife was somewhere nearby in a cell. I discovered that they wanted to steal my son.

I was told that if I wanted to help my wife, I must give the required evidence,

I had an enforced conversation with the KGB Chairman, Zaitsev, who made threats to the life and health of my wife and son.

When I refused to confirm the lies which had been suggested to me, Zaitsev said that harsher measures would be taken against my wife and child.

I was shocked, because a person who occupies such a post should not sound like the head of a crime organisation. I took these words seriously and understood that the life of my wife and son indeed depended on me, since my wife was in this same prison.

Then a detective called Fetisov started his work. He was preparing me for interrogations according to themes dictated by Zaitsev. He told me what topics he was interested in: the questions of financing and of contacts with foreigners. Before the first interrogation, it was specified how I had to reply on those or other topics.

Fetisov came to assure himself that I would give the required evidence. A detailed plan of my interrogation was made, and he warned me that reference to the Constitution, or a refusal to give evidence, would not be accepted.

My liver was hurting badly before the first interrogation. But I was afraid; I could give evidence that would help my wife. I was denied a lawyer to defend me.

The first time I was able to have a one-to-one meeting with a lawyer was on 22 March.

Even my requests to provide me documents, the Constitution, and the Universal Declaration on Human Rights were not fulfilled.

The lawyer was given the role of a walk-on actor at interrogations. I was forbidden even to look at the lawyer. I felt ill during all interrogations, but I did not refuse to give evidence.

During all the interrogations, there was physical and psychological pressure applied.

I was completely isolated from information. Up to now, I do not receive the newspapers which I want.

I was made to watch reactionary, anti-Semitic films.

The head of the KGB jail also summoned me to compulsory conversations.

Therefore I am making this statement, and I declare that the evidence which I gave at the interrogations does not correspond with reality.

For that reason I have said that I am prepared to give evidence in court.”