There is a revolt against President Alexander Lukashenko in Belarus.
Earlier this week, it also made headlines in Norway when biathlon queen Darya Domracheva’s brother Nikita was brutally arrested by Belarusian police, accused of illegal demonstrations. Domratsjeva is also married to Ole Einar Bjørndalen.
Now another athlete is coming forward with her story, after she was arrested in demonstrations where she was critical of the regime.
According to Marca, the former basketball star Jelena Leusjanka (37) opened up about what she calls “a hell” in court on Thursday.
– They have endangered my life and my health. They searched my mattress and sheets. There was no hot water. I have not showered in 13 days. I’ve lived in a pool of bacteria. I have lice. All this damages my health, says Leusjanka.
Leushanka says she spent 15 days in police custody. The basketball player was a leading national team profile, and was named the World Cup’s best midfielder in 2010. Among other things, she has also played in the WNBA, the world’s best league.
Leushanka is said to be one of the country’s sports profiles most strongly against Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko. Lukashenko declared himself the winner with more than 80 percent of the vote in August.
Leushanka is also negative to the Minister of Sports in the country, who is said to have asked the athletes to commit to learning the national anthem, displaying flags and not speaking unless this has been approved by the club or support staff.
Leushanka receives massive support in her home country, including from former teammate Natalia Marshenko.
– They have taken the wrong person. Jelena is so experienced, and has gone through so much to win that it is impossible to break her. She will stand for her principles and herself, she says to Marca.
– Attack like a pack of wolves
This is not the only arrest in Belarus that is attracting attention this week.
Nikita Domratsjev tells Dagbladet that he was on his way to his mother on a bicycle when he was accused of participating in demonstrations.
– Halfway through I was stopped by a bunch of people who ran past me. The next moment I see more soldiers with weapons. I got scared and rode the other way. But it did not work, because more soldiers came from another corner, says Nikita Domratsjev to Dagbladet.
He goes on to say that he received several blows from a soldier who sent him to the ground.
– I shouted that I have a Belarusian passport and that I should only visit my mother. They continued to attack me like a pack of wolves, he explains.