Folha de S. Paulo (Brazil): stuck in Belarus, the Brazilian told how he lived without money and how he was threatened because of sexual orientation

He went to Moldova and planned to be held in Belarus four days. But I had to stay there for two months. The Brazilian almost no money, he was threatened with death because he is homosexual. He learned how to live a country ruled by denying the pandemic autocrat who for the prevention of coronavirus advises to drink vodka and go to the bath.

Recently, 50-year-old geographer Christian Britto returned to Brazil. All thanks to the efforts of the international organization, which was able to take out.

The Brazilian last year working as a volunteer in different countries around the world. In February, he arrived in Moscow, held in the Russian capital for one month. From there he wanted to go to Chisinau, Moldova for three months, where he planned to help the NGOs working for stray animals. Along the way he was supposed to go to the capital of Belarus Minsk and Ukrainian in Kiev.

On the eve of departure of his train from Minsk to Kiev, the Ukrainian border was closed because of the pandemic. He had money enough only for ten days, as in Moldova he would provide housing and food while you work. Not having enough money, he began to look for ways to return to Brazil.

When the border was closed, he wrote to the Embassy. The appeal to Christian talked about their financial difficulties, in particular that cannot pay for accommodation in hostel and that he had money enough only for one meal a day. He replied that he was the only Brazilian citizen who had requested the Embassy’s repatriation and assistance in connection with heavy financial position. Because of this, his problem more difficult to solve.

According to Christian, the Embassy employee, who was involved in his case, roughly treated. “Several times he hung up. Said that I don’t look poor, and once even asked me to commit a crime to get me deported. He said to me, this is a quick way to get to Brazil. I could not believe my ears,” says Christian.

The Ministry of external relations of Brazil has not commented on the newspaper Folha on this single episode. However, said that the Embassy gave him explanations about the assessment procedures of financial insolvency, which is “required to consider the possibility of granting to the citizen of cash” and that he “has not provided the information necessary for the implementation of the procedure.”

Christian claims to have sent all the information and documents required by the Embassy. “Every day they asked for something new. I was sent, I don’t know what other evidence they wanted.”

In the end he began to give lessons of capoeira, salsa, tango and Ashe in his hostel. Local media have interviewed him, and the hostel had a discount on accommodation.

To cut back on daily expenses, Christian tried to find using the free guest system Couchsurfing people, ready to place it, but it was rejected over 200 times. At the meeting in the bar with the owners of Renren, one of them asked him when they were alone, whether he is homosexual. “There’s a very strong homophobic sentiments, but I never hid anything. Answered “Yes” and asked: “And you, too?” And then he got angry and said that he can’t respect me: “We here like to kill gays,” — said the Brazilian. “After that, I kept quiet. This threat scared me”.

Christian told about the incident to the Embassy. There he was advised to go to the police, given the assistance of an interpreter. The police told him that if he will appeal, they will deal with face threatening him. Another way is just record the readings. The Brazilian didn’t know when to leave Belarus, so I chose the second option, fearing retaliation from the abuser.

The Embassy confirmed that accompanied him to the police station. According to dippredstavitelstva, law enforcement authorities found that “real threat to the security of the specified citizen is not.”

And not waiting for the police response remained “without a single real food”, Christian asked the employee of the IOM (international organization for migration) in Belarus. Next week he’s already boarded the plane, the tickets were provided by the IOM. Monday, may 11, Christian landed in Brazil. “She very quickly helped me. I believe that I’m on, only when it got on the plane,” he says.

In Belarus, the Christian was able to see how the country lives, which is not officially imposed quarantine. President Alexander Lukashenko, who has been in power for 26 years, called the pandemic “hysteria” and “psychosis”, and without any scientific basis suggested the residents “poison” coronavirus vodka and a drink to wash hands.

In a country with a population of 9.5 million people to date, registered more than 30 thousand cases and 171 deaths from the coronavirus.

Lukashenko did not cancel the may 9 military parade in honor of the 75 th anniversary of Russia’s victory in world war II. The event attracted thousands of people, almost all of them were without masks. “I saw the way preparing for the parade, heard flying fighters. To go did not, I’m not crazy,” says Christian.

As he says, some people are isolated on their own from fear of catching covid-19. “The bars were empty, people stay at home because they see the growth incidence”.

Man glad to be back home, but Brazil feels less secure to mention the risk of infection by coronavirus. “I came from a country where a lot of problems, but in Brazil, a very large outbreak, I almost don’t go outside”.

When you open the border, Christian plans to return to Europe and begin the work that remained to wait for him in Moldova.