It became known yesterday that Dzmitry Hopta, a 22-year-old political prisoner of Gomel, suffering from mental retardation, was refused pardon. Reform.by spoke with Dzmitry’s mother Volha Hopta to find out how the family and the man himself reacted to this news and what they are going to do next.
“We keep holding on, trying to gather our thoughts,” the woman says.
She learned about the pardon refusal on January 8, when her son called from the colony. He received a letter with a refusal on January 5.
“Dima called and said that a refusal had come. It’s not even that he was not in the mood, he could not even talk – he cried so hard. He dreamed of being at home so much. And I dream about it,” Olga says.
She saw her son on December 1 last time, at a short-term date. Then, at the date, mom adds, he kept talking about the pardon and how he wanted to get home.
“His appearance did not change, he got a little used to it…” the woman recalls.
Volha brought the petition for pardon of her son to the colony on May 26 last year. In mid-July, there was a commission in the colony, where it was decided that Hopta needed to be pardoned, and the entire package of documents was sent to the pardon committee. In September, Lukashenka signed a decree pardoning 13 people. Dsmitry Hopta was not included in this list. Then Volha wrote to the “Round Table of Democratic Forces” of Yury Voskresensky, who allegedly selects candidates for pardon, and she was offered to include her son in the second group of pardons. The second list, as well as the first, according to Voskresensky, included 100 people. All of them, according to Voskresensky, “sent written confirmations to the Round Table of Democratic Forces.” In early December, the woman personally met with the participants of the round table. Olga does not want to talk about the details of the meeting, she only adds that they spoke to her very politely and convinced that her son was the first on the list for pardon.
The reason for the deny the pardon for Dzmitry Hopta is unknown, Volha does not know anything.
“Now, the Round Table is trying to find out what is the reason why Dimka was denied the pardon. I don’t know at all what could have been the reason for the refusal. Now I will write a written request to the pardon commission and find out why they refused. Anyway, I will re-collect all the documents and fight for Dima. I really want my son to be at home, we will continue to write and go on,” Volha Hopta says.
The mother of the political prisoner adds that she asks to send her son letters with drawings. He says they’ll help him cheer up a little bit.
“When he was at home, he loved Marvel drawings. He will be interested in getting them,” the woman says.
Dzmitry Hopta was officially diagnosed with mental retardation, requiring care and treatment. He was detained for participating in the August 10 protests in Zhlobin. The young man signed all the confessions that were made to him by the police. At the same time, the examination concluded that, despite mental problems and his diagnosis, Hopta could be held criminally liable. In February, the court sentenced him to 2 years in prison. Dzmitry was recognized as a political prisoner. He is serving his sentence in Penal Colony No.3.