Unsubdued in spirit/repressed Belarus
06.06.2008 | 09:47 |
Dear friends,

Last year our country commemorated the sorrowful day in our history – the 70th anniversary since the peak of the mass repressions in the USSR has taken place. For perpetuating the memory of victims of the unprecedented Stalinist repressions the public community of Belarus has created a special Organizing committee. The famous Belarusian writers, scientists, public figures creating the Organizing committee made every effort to reveal and perpetuate the places of the Belarusian citizens mass killings during the period of Stalinist vampirism. This was the aim of their travel to the Belarusian cities Gomel Homel, Barysau, Vileika, Cherven, Slutsk, Staryia Darohi. Not once they had to renew the memorable signs at the memorial complex “Kurapaty” which were being broken by the vandals with the powers being indulgent to them. This work continues up to present.

 We tried to get the governmental bodies to take part in the Memorial Year events. However, their response to Organizing committee  proposals was either dead silence or repressions and prosecution of the public activists participating at these events. Lately these violent acts of the regime are becoming every time more and more brutal, thus manifesting its antinational character and its intolerable range.
On April 19 of this year the community of Minsk together with residents of the village Drazhna in the district Staryia Darohi have erected the Cross at the Drazhna graveyard periphery to commemorate the victims of the partisans’ of Minsk partisan brigade No 2 punitive action against the peaceful residents of this village carried out in the time of the second world war. The partisans  following some strange and cruel logic have “confused” the police and civil residents and punished the whole village. Armed with rifles and knives, the spoilers attacked the women and children. They killed the young teacher who was accused of the teaching the children to read and write. This was prohibited by the Soviet agents operating in Belarus occupied by Germany. During this action families were driven into the houses and burned down alive. This tragedy happened 65 years ago in April 1943. The Cross was erected to commemorate the Drazhna martyrs.

However it was destroyed already on 22 April following the authorities order. And one of the participants of this commemorative event, a well-known public man Vyachaslau Siuchyk was detained in Minsk, taken to Staryia Darohi and sentenced for 15 days of arrest.

As can be seen from here the public prayer at the massacre place is considered by the Belarusian authorities as a non-permitted political meeting and the flowers laying on graves as a crime. A conscientious human being can’t fail to be shocked.

  On May 15 the writer Victor Khursik who described in his book “The blood and ashes of Drazhna” the tragic actions of war time in Drazhna and was present at the Cross erection event on April 19 was also arrested for 15 days.

      The public activists are judged regularly and the sentences are not based on any evidences. The barrister’s proofs are not taken into consideration. This can be confirmed by the cases of the prosecuted youth activist Andrei Kim and one of the business leader Syarhei Parsyukevich. There can be observed a certain analogy with the drastic year of 1937. And the authorities don’t mean to hide this analogy.

At the very beginning of this year the community faced a new challenge. The higher authorities of Belarus adopted a political, as it was stressed by them, decision of the nuclear power plant construction. They  disregarded even possibility of some independent examination of this political decision that could be if taking it fairly can be reasonable. Such action of authorities violated the Orhus Convention signed by our country. According to this convention people have right to participate at elaboration of the decision to construct a nuclear power plant. The leader of the country said meanwhile that everybody opposing the nuclear power plant construction in Belarus would be considered as the enemy of the nation. And everybody knows how are treated the “enemies” by the Stalinist successors of Belarus. Isn’t a new wave of repressions, arrests and imprisonments expected of those who are opponents of nuclear power plants in Belarus?

It is well known, for example, that enemies were easily found among the residents of the Druzhny settlement (Pukhovichy district) who don’t want to have a chemical weed and pest-killer chemicals plant near their dwellings. Their protest against construction of such plant was answered by the repressions, prosecution and intimidation.

According to statements of the country leader, everybody who is going to stand up for the architectural heritage and environmental and cultural wealth which are threatened to be destroyed as a result of a dictate and vandalism of the state is to be treated like such “enemies”. Suffice it to mention the fresh ruins of the Nesvizh castle so-called restoration and the way of new roads building in the national park “Belavezhskaya pushcha”.

We hope that the people of Belarus will come to know and understand who is responsible for an appearance of the new “enemies” as well as aims of such policy. We also hope that they will see origins of an another burst of repressions in Belarus that mean a cynical and inadmissible for an European country attack on the civil community. The Belarusian authorities violate all international conventions of human rights that were joint by country some time ago. Seeking after the blind obedience of people the present regime destroys methodically and sequentially moral, Christian traditions, national education system, the Belarusian language and culture.

We hope that taking into account all those things the world won’t stay indifferent in respect of our situation.

Upon a time in the former Soviet Union the enslaved and blunted with the “bright future” people being left alone with the bloody dictator, paid a terrible price for that. The same was true for Europe, yet a bit later. We’d like to think that lessons of the recent times are not forgotten by the European community.  
 

      Yauhen Anishchanka, historian.

      Radzim Haretsky, Academician of the National Academy of Sciences of Belarus.

      Valery Dranchuk, publicist, ecologist.

      Syarhei Zakonnikau, poet, Yanka Kupala Belarusian State prize winner.

      Georgy Lepin, scientist.

      Leanid Lych, scientist.

      Ivan Nikitchanka, Corresponding member of the of the National Academy of Sciences of Belarus.

      Yahor Fedyushyn, scientist.

      Uladzimir Khalip, writer.

      Vasil Yakavenka, writer, an International F.Nansen literary prize winner.