During the next step of the destruction of civil society in Belarus, Yulia Goryachko, who helped the ICCI “Our House” for many years, suffered. Yulia was arrested on suspicion of a crime under Article 342 of the Criminal Code (organization and preparation of actions that grossly violate public order or active participation in them). Now our colleague faces up to three years in prison.
Yulia has joined the team of our organization some years ago and has provided assistance to hundreds of Belarusians: she supported in courts, helped with appeals to authorities, worked with the stories of children-328. After the elections-2020, Yulia continued to defend the victims of the repressive regime with even greater intensity. Like all of us, she wanted changes for the better in her country.
Yulia united a team of volunteers who were engaged in helping the repressed Belarusians. Dozens of stories about torture, beatings, bullying, threats from security forces against civilians passed through it. Reading and listening to the terrible, sometimes tragic confessions of the heroes of the revolution, Yulia became a psychologist for them. She found the right words for support, consolation, suggested the best ways to resolve the current situation.
With colleagues, Yulia always remained kind and responsive, even in challenging circumstances. In stressful moments, she always helped and could defuse the situation.
And at the same time, she always remained true to her work, helping people. It was comfortable and easy for our entire team to work with Yulia. Over the years, our colleague has become a supporter. She was an important part of the team.
The arrest of our volunteers is nothing but pressure on the collective of the entire ICCI “Our House”. We are engaged in human rights activities, which have become criminal in Belarus, we support civil society, activists, which is now illegal in our country. By detaining our colleagues, the security forces deprive people who turn to us and expect support from our side of help. Of course, this is done to make people think that no one will help them, stay silent and stay at home. But this will not happen — Belarus has already become different, and the regime will not be able to drive the people into a stable.