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Friday, September 22, 2017

Artem Buzila: Then better now yourself to slander, but to be yourself


“At first my mood was very militant, I played the spirit of romance of the protest is to sit for the idea and so on. I faced up to five years. Well, gathered into a fist and think: well, five years may, and will tolerate,” – said the newspaper VIEW Odessa reporter Artem Buzila. He admitted, why six months later, the prison decided to declare himself a “separatist” before the Ukrainian court.

Yesterday, exactly a year from the day when the 25-year-old Artem Buzila, chief editor of the Internet newspaper “for Real” (“Naspravdi”) and freelance correspondent of the newspaper VIEW in Odessa, social activist, was arrested by the SBU, in a time when the city was preparing for the mourning ceremonies in the memory of the tragedy that occurred on may 2, 2014 in the House of trade unions.

“Compared to people who sit on the case on may 2,” who decided to go to the end, I don’t look like a hero. By the way, before you plead guilty, I had a long chat with the priest”

Newspaper OPINION from the very first day has followed the fate of their “freelancers”. Artyom recalls how in the first hours of stay in the SBU building one of the officers told him, nodding at the laptop screen, “you’re Out, your, from katsapskie newspaper Look already trumpeting about your arrest! The prisoner, damn it” In the following months, the newspaper reprinted the letter of Artema from prison, published a detailed interview of his lawyer Alexey Glazov. Artem admits that very grateful for this moral support.

In fact, for the mere participation in a regular round table, Artem was accused of “separatism”. Together with a group of people he allegedly prepared the creation of an independent Ukrainian state of Bessarabia. At trial, Artem officially pleaded guilty and on November 26 was sentenced to 3 years and 8 months of restriction of freedom with punishment departure in a colony-settlement. Additionally, Artem was obliged to be the main witness at the trial of his colleagues – Odessa journalist Elena Glescinskas. This was required by the investigators. Pretending that he is ready to accuse a colleague, Artem on March 30 were able to freedom, what immediately reported and our newspaper. However, the joy of liberation was marred by the fact that the SBU took the journalist on bail, threatening in case of an attempted escape from the country and a new arrest for a period. However, Booze has managed to move to Russia.

About what internal conflict he experienced in jail, before pleading guilty, the journalist Artem Buzila said in an interview with the newspaper LOOK.

OPINION: Tom, say you were detained by the investigation team numbering 41 people. 10-15 people were employees of special forces “alpha” with machine guns and masks, a few operatives, and the rest just the staff of the investigative group. Do you think they were seriously concerned that you – a common sight on “nerd” – will be shot?

Artem Buzila: If I was accused of terrorism, it was still possible to understand. And so… I am intelligent, “nerd” though, even in army did not serve. It was ridiculous even to imagine. Me and then drove to the court in a separate van. If normal, as I saw it, criminals led by two guards arrested five people and these five without handcuffs, then took me four guard – one gunner in front, one rear, and two led me by the elbows. Of course, in handcuffs. Representatives of the criminal world with whom I met there, it was a joke: behold, they say, is the most dangerous, the most authoritative bandit.

OPINION: According to the indictment, at your home during the arrest they found leaflets with separatist appeals. And on this flash drive supposedly kept the flyers “Odessa national Republic”. You already told how, when arrested, got beaten up, blinded by the light in my eyes – beat, of course, not to death, but not weak and very professional. In prison you could not get those bruises to fix?

A. B.: the fact that the lawyer I got through only four or five days. I won’t lie, I was initially very intimidated. When I was in the detention center asked me if I had a complaint to the detention, I replied “no”. Before that, I said, if you do not get to complain that you were beaten, we got in a couple of days of release. I thought: no particular danger, I can not imagine. Maybe it really will hold an educational talk and let go. Are you maybe confusing.

But on the second day, in the building of the SBU in front of me have already put a signed “explanation”, which was written some complete nonsense, including the names, all unknown to me.

In the first hours, except when they beat me or shoving a flashlight in my eyes, I somehow didn’t realize that I “stepped in it”. The result – almost a year of life.

OPINION: What happened after you moved out of the SBU building in isolation? When they began to realize that “heap”?

A. B.: First, I sat seven days in the detention center, absolutely one in the chamber. Didn’t know what to do, and just considered the time from the ringing of bells. Somewhere on sixth, eighth day I was taken to jail. Camera was a model like this, as they show on TV. The camera was called “strictly contents” – was sitting at 3-4, sometimes 5 people. Of course, all – too political prisoners, who are accused of terrorism, separatism. Plus there were participants in the events of may 2. Many of them are still there and are. But still they were the representatives of the free world, not criminals (though the last among a huge number of innocent people, completely sane people), no one not previously convicted. Everyone has a wife, kids, work. Normal people.

I will try many more to tell later, no one not to forget. Ukraine’s acting in this respect much more clever – for example, from the “Director” of Sentsov, who removed the two clips, made a “hero”. And there, in the prison of Odessa, a sitting of the city Council members, prominent lawyers, former law enforcement officers. The press is silent.

Sitting in jail for almost a hundred political, and only six hundred people, if I’m not mistaken. Put on a separate political body, afraid that we will perogitive criminals and turn them over to the separatists.

OPINION: WHILE the political what, for example, were the views?

A. B.: of Course, were people from several different views. One former member of the Communist party, the other a supporter of joining Russia, someone – a supporter of Novorossiya or a federated Ukraine. But on the whole they were all against the coup in 2014.

Of course, a quarrel arose at the household level. Imagine grown men, sitting in an isolated room, and eat, and go to the toilet in the cell to one another. Psychologically difficult. But we of course tried each other’s support.

Neighbors of other cameras we did not see much. The only possibility was to shout on a walk, because walks also took place in isolated courtyards with high walls. Plus joint trips to the courts. For this we are nearly there with all the almost made friends, and I have almost all developed a positive impression. And all I was left with gratitude. Of course, Solzhenitsyn or Shalamov was sitting in very different terms, there was harder.

OPINION: How long was the walk?

Repression and terror in Ukraine,A. B.: an hour a day. Courtyard – two meters by three meters. There were benches, horizontal bars, but the sports there are very few people involved, because the psychological state is very depressed. No wonder jail is much worse than the camp. Because people do not know what will happen to him tomorrow. Will you give him time or is acquitted, which is unlikely. Maybe exchanged for the Ukrainian military.

OPINION: they Say, at the judgment, you looked very depressed. When did the dark thoughts?

A. B.: at First my mood was very militant, I played the spirit of romance of the protest is to sit for the idea and so on. My first article of the criminal code was “encroachment on territorial integrity”, or even “preparing to attack” I was facing up to five years. Well, gathered into a fist and think: well, five years may be tolerated.

But in the seventh month, when they transferred the case to the court, I was charged more and one of the most severe articles of the criminal code – “treason”. To 15 years of imprisonment. And then all of 20 – if you take, coupled with separatism.

Therefore, we counsel and made the decision to incriminate himself, to admit guilt, because it was the only way to go. Moreover, the sentence came into force on 26 November. This is the day, when it adopted the so-called “law Savchenko”, on that one day in jail is equal to two days in jail or four days in the colony. How “repentant” I was sentenced to three years and eight months in a penal colony easy mode. Accordingly, I knew that I had to see out four months. I’d already not been transferred to the colony, because I’ve filed an appeal, delaying the process on purpose.

After that I already felt better, I began to think, what will you do on the outside. I have no doubt it was, internally I was aware of that right. I pleaded guilty, clenching his fists. So I had to do, I don’t think there are many people willing to spend dozens of years in prison.

OPINION: it was Hard to make a choice?

A. B.: of Course, the internal conflict was. Legally I no one agreed, but himself, because to specify someone can only be on the court as a witness is the rule of law and rights.

She wrote that I was convicted on a plea deal. No, actually, I was condemned under an abbreviated procedure. That is, I didn’t sign a deal, I just pleaded guilty on the day of sentencing. I witness no one spoke, I think, then you yourself can verify. Of course, compared to people who sit on the case on may 2,” who decided to go to the end, I don’t look like a hero.

By the way, before you plead guilty, I had a long chat with the priest. Come to us father – of course, of the diocese of the Moscow Patriarchate. I asked him: “what do you think, father? If I now admit my guilt, is it betrayal, including faith?”. He said, “your new article you’re in danger of 12-15 years. God forbid you will make such a sentence. If you will be released after 15 years, if you have to time to remain the same person? Will you still present the desire? Probably not. Then better yourself now to slander, but to be yourself. When released into the wild, will continue to do what you think is right, to prove something to people”. And I said Yes.

VIEW: not afraid of that “pop” could be an agent of the SBU?

A. B.: of Course, we were afraid that he knocks. Even among ourselves, we recalled that priests in the Soviet time, many knocked in the KGB. But this man gives me great inner confidence and hope, will read these words and hear my gratitude.

And so, despite the misgivings, we still spoke with him very frankly. What we could say, if we are innocent? What is blab?

OPINION: As health you have after prison?

A. B.: Vision village immediately. I have chronic keratitis – you have to dig and you have to look into the distance to sight did not sit down.

OPINION: they Say the camera you vision spared – read and wrote, even at night. The inmates were not fighting that night writing?

AB: on the Contrary, treated with understanding. Was told that I have to describe it all to my journalistic talent is not lost. I now need a month to put it in order and then I’ll think about publishing.

With me were people of different professions – there were entrepreneurs, and mechanics. But all political. In the next cell sat the Deputy of the city Council of four convocations, the leader of the organization of Afghan war veterans Oleksandr Lutsenko. If I was charged under two articles, it – at 14! Starting from the coup attempt and ending with the seizure of public buildings and attempted murder of the MP. And he has done nothing at all.

With one of the people accused of terror, I argued that while I’m sitting I will read one hundred books. And here two days before the release, I do read the hundredth book. The books were in the prison library, their relatives passed. But my crowning achievement, if I may say so – I wrote in prison fiction book about the situation in Ukraine, slightly to the socio-dystopian genre. Wrote at night, thank God, the light bulbs were.

OPINION: SBU you have something to offer?

A. B.: Yes, before the release of the SBU were invited to stay in Odessa, in the opposition, so to speak, to communicate with activists and journalists and to merge information about them on the subject of separatism, and the salary is not bad for Odessa. But I have beliefs that have not been broken.

OPINION: how many of you were promised?

A. B.: Fifteen hundred dollars a month. Not to say that prior to prison it was for me the space amount. But for present-day Ukraine, after prison, when you consider that with this sentence I would anywhere has not found a job, this is more than enough. But I said, “Yes, I think”. And the 10 days left Ukraine.

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