Search the A Belarus Miscellany Web site
Note: This is section of the A Belarus Miscellany Web site, to make it easier to find factual, accurate, information about the various ways the Belarusian people, language, culture, independent state, etc., are being threatened today. If you only read and believe pronouncements of the Belarusian dictatorship, you will have no idea what is taking place in Belarus!
Belarus is undergoing a very serious crisis, make no mistake. If you are not already aware of the overwhelming, multiple ways that Belarus is being threatened, the links that follow should help make that clear.
The Lukashenka regime, having taken total control of Belarus, is using one factor to give a fake "legitimacy" to its totalitarian rule of Belarus: time. The longer it is allowed to control Belarus, the further Belarus is in debt to Russia, the more the intellectual and cultural leaders flee Belarus, and the more Belarus becomes impoverished. . . .
Belarus Post-"Election": Dictatorship continues. . . . The Virtual Guide to Belarus' Web page about the Belarusian Presidential Election (September 9, 2001)
The last university in Belarus to use Belarusian as its primary language of instruction (administered by the Jesuits in Polacak) was closed in 1838! The Belarusian Uniat Church was also shut down by the Russians at about this time (the church had flourished for close to 250 years and used Belarusian as its language and was intended to counter Polish and Russian religious influences). The Soviet and Lukashenka regimes that followed continue with such destructive policies. In 2004, the only educational institution to use Belarusian as its primary language of instruction was closed. It now exists in exile in Vilnius, Lithuania. (This school is the Yakub Kolas Belarusian Lyceum.)
(A) View a list of recent "vandalism" and note what consequences occur to the criminals who desecrate Jewish memorials, synagogues, etc., and who do likewise to memorials to the victims of Soviet crimes, for example, at Kurapaty (sites of mass murder by the Soviet NKVD, etc.). Note how often such crimes occur. Also note how often these criminals are identified, caught, and punished (hint: almost never). Such things have been going on for 15 years. The following searches only summarize the year 2009.
(B) Contrast the Belarusian government's response to those crimes and criminals with the "crimes" (sic) of speaking Belarusian, displaying the historical white-red-white Belarusian flag, and so forth. Note how often these "criminals" are punished, in contrast.
Also note that in Mr. Lukashenka's vocabulary, "opposition" connotes someone's being a "traitor" to Belarus. (There is a serious problem in that Mr. Lukashenka sees himself as "Belarus"; that is, that the interests of Belarus are identical to his own!) Mr. Lukashenka has his own vocabulary, and of course it is based on that of Soviet/Russian propaganda. He repeatedly demonstrates his un-comprehension of multi-party democracy, yet he uses the word "democracy" to refer to his totalitarian rule of Belarus.
Note: What follows here is not all-inclusive and up-to-date; nonetheless, it is representative of what has been taking place in Belarus for approximately the past fifteen years.
Also refer to information at the following Web sites: We Remember. . . and The Belarusian Free Theatre
As the following article shows, there appears to be some new tactics taking place in Belarus. Together with being imprisoned on trumped-up charges, not being allowed to travel, being kicked out of university, losing one's "stipend", losing one's job, and being forced to serve in the armed forces, the young activists of Belarus appear to be the focus of whatever is taking place in Belarus. . . .
Representatives of the Human Rights House Network sent a statement to the Belarusian authorities regarding a number of abductions of opposition activists.
The letter says human rights guaranteed by the Constitution are being violated in Belarus. It also calls to respect norms of international obligations, ratified by the country, BelaPAN reports. The statement addresses Prosecutor General Ryhor Vasilevich and Interior Minister Anatoly Kulyashou. It is signed by 15 human rights organizations of Europe, including the Belarusian Human Rights House in Vilnius. The letters says members of the Human Rights House Network are alarmed by recent reports of abductions of youth activists in Belarus. Human rights defenders think the instances seem to be of a similar nature.
Human rights watchdogs remind that on 5 December, unknown persons in mufti seized “Young Front” leader Zmitser Dashkevich when he was opening the doors of his apartment. On that day, Dashkevich was going to take part in the presentation of New Generation coalition. Dashkevich was pushed into a car; the abductors pulled two caps over his face so he could not see where he was taken. They brought him to a forest, where he was taken out of the car, with a wooden pole put through the sleeves of his jacket to immobilize him. The abductors ordered him to stand and count up to a hundred and then disappeared. Dashkevich had to find his way out of the forest. When he reached the road, he found the village of Antonauka 70 kilometres away from Minsk. On December 6, four men in mufti in Minsk abducted Yauhen Afnahel, one of the leaders of the civil campaign “European Belarus”. Afnahel was reportedly forced into a white car with tinted windows and taken out of town. According to the activist, the kidnappers didn’t say anything, just forced him to sit with his head between his knees. He was let out of the car at a few kilometres distance from Minsk.
“According to our information, a series of similar incidents happened in the course of the year. Six leaders and activists of youth organizations and initiatives have been victims of abductions: Artur Finkevich, Nasta Palazhanka, Dzyanis Karnou, Uladzimir Lemesh, Zmitser Dashkevich, and Yauhen Afnahel. Reports by Belarusian human rights NGOs, media and the abducted persons themselves give us grounds to believe that these abductions may be directly related to the victims' civic and political involvement and aimed at intimidating them. These incidents have not been investigated, although abduction and unlawful deprivation of freedom constitute a crime punishable by Articles 182 and 183 respectively of the Belarusian Criminal Code,” the statement says.
The recent incidents appear to be a new and intimidating tool for harassment of Belarusian activists, who in an organised manner or independently demonstrate their opposition to the rule of the government of Belarus. As such, they represent a violation of the freedom of expression as well as the right to assembly and association, as guaranteed by Articles 19, 21 and 22 respectively of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights ratified by the Republic of Belarus the 12 November 1973. The authors of the statement also remind the government of Belarus of the Article 9 of the Covenant that entitles everyone to the right to liberty and security of person.
“The UN Declaration on the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance stipulates the right to protection from abductions as we have seen unfold in Belarus, and the states’ obligation to investigate the crimes. Although Belarus has not ratified the Convention, the Belarusian government should take notice of the grave nature of such crimes that the Convention underscores,” the statement stresses.
Source: Charter 97, 18.12.2009; 12:32
"The European Union calls for an 'immediate stop of criminal show proceedings conducted for clear political reasons against members of the opposition.' " (Source: BelaPAN, No. 45; Friday, May 12, 2000; 9:20 p.m.)
According to Mr. Belenky, executing an order to prevent the demonstration, several police officers attacked him, hit him in the face with a truncheon, put his jacket over his head, knocked him off his feet and kept kicking him. After the beating, Mr. Belenky was taken together with other detainees to an Internal Troops base, where a doctor diagnosed a brain concussion.
The Belarusian Constitution & Government
"On November 27, Belarus' chief of state, Aleksandr Lukashenko, sacked the country's prosecutor general, State Security Committee (KGB) chairman, as well as the head of Belarus' obscure Security Council. Mr. Poznyak believes that the reshuffle was ethnically motivated and resulted from a lack of national consciousness within the Belarusian government."
" 'Moscow is waging a unique war against Belarus, invading the country without a single shot," Mr. Poznyak said. "I have repeatedly warned that once Russia's special services take over Belarus they will gradually remove and later eliminate all Belarusians in the Belarusian government, including Sheiman, Matskevich, Antonovich, Pashkevich, Myasnikovich and others. Moscow will liquidate Lukashenko last, not until they have trained their own Kostunica.' "
"Mr. Poznyak called on the 13 Supreme Soviet (the Lukashenko-disbanded parliament that the EU and the US still consider Belarus' only legitimate legislature) to set up a truly Belarusian government to "put an end to the destructive influence of Russian-German diplomacy." (Source: BelaPAN, No. 6; Friday, December 1, 2000; 10:30 p.m.)
Note: See also information about Zyanon Pazniak.
The Belarusian Economy
Belarus tops the list of CIS states as far as the inflation rate, which constituted in the year 2000, 168.6% of the 1999 level. (Source: Charter '97, April 11, 2001)
. . . Yet Official Belarusian government statistics make it sound as though Belarus' Soviet-style, "command" economy were thriving. Even a very brief visit to Belarus by a visitor from the non-ex-USSR would dispel that fantasy (beginning with the empty, international airport with only a couple of flights per day, and continuing to the choices available in its stores, markets, etc.):
Under Mr. Lukashenka, Belarus has become a very poor, rundown agricultural country that cannot even feed itself. It has almost no foreign investment (other than Russian), with poor healthcare, high alcoholism, a shrinking, despondent society, etc.
There is no foreign investment since no one considers Belarusian investment worth the risk under the mercurial, capricious edicts of Mr. Lukanshenka (there is no rule of law, and there are no predictable banking or investment laws or courts).
Many people feel that the Lukashenka regime, whether through traitorous scheming or sheer total incompetence, only survives through Russian support --but for a dear price: the eventual absorption of Belarus as the "northwest province" that the Russian czarist regimes spoke of.
Belarusian Health & Health Care
The Chornobyl (Chernobyl) Disaster
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