Danish investment funds are getting rid of Belarusian state bonds; draft Constitution from the Tsikhanouskaya team; Red Cross denies being complicit in aiding Lukashenko regime; authorities continue to intimidate Belarusians with cruel punishments
10 March 2021 | Voice of Belarus
Photographer Nadzia Buzhan became the finalist in the most prestigious competition in the field of professional photojournalism World Press Photo in the category “Spot News”. On the photo, the wife of politician Pavel Sieviaryniec, Volha, is waiting for her husband who was supposed to be released from Akrestsina detention centre. Pavel Sieviaryniec has never been released.
Danish investment funds are getting rid of Belarusian state bonds due to the political situation in the country
The Danish newspapers Berlingske and Børsen reported that the investment funds BankInvest, Jyske Invest, and Sparinvest sold the state bonds of Belarus that had been purchased before the 2020 elections. The representatives of the funds explained that the rigging of the elections and ensuing violence did not correspond to their principles of investment.
Danish Minister of Foreign Affairs Jeppe Kofod praised the investment funds. “We must make every effort to prevent even unintentional support for the crimes of the Lukashenko regime,” highlighted the minister.
These are the first results of National Anti-Crisis Management’s (NAM) campaign aiming at working with the investment funds that had purchased Belarusian state bonds before the 2020 elections. NAM calls on the investment funds to present state bonds for early redemption as it believes that the money from their sale has not been used for foreign debt refinancing, but rather for conducting the repressions against the Belarusian people.
Tsikhanouskaya’s team presented its draft Constitution
The working group on the draft Constitution presented a new version of the country’s main law. Basic changes are as follows:
- the transition of the state from a presidential form of government to a parliamentary republic – the parliament appoints the prime minister and approves the government which, in turn, reports to the parliament;
- the president would not be able to hold office for more than two terms (10 years);
- the independence of the judiciary will be ensured by the National Council of Justice;
- The National Bank independently determines the parameters of the monetary policy;
- the death penalty will be abolished;
- two state languages with the expansion of the sphere of use of the Belarusian language;
- state symbols will be a white-red-white flag and the Pahonia coat of arms.
Today, at the meeting with the heads of EU missions to the UN Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya called on the international organizations of UN, OSCE, Council of Europe, European Union to unite efforts to resolve the crisis in Belarus. Tsikhanouskaya also conducted phone calls with US State Department adviser Derek Chollet and Canadian Minister of Foreign Affairs Marc Garneau. The ways to increase pressure on the Lukashenko regime including sanctions, freezing assets of the regime’s accomplices, creation of mechanisms to investigate human rights violations and torture in Belarus were discussed. In the conversation, Tsikhanouskaya stressed that the democratic forces of Belarus aim to conduct new free and fair elections this autumn.
The International Red Cross denies the involvement of the Belarusian branch in the election rigging
BBC News published an article about the involvement of the Belarusian Red Cross Society (BSC) in the rigging of the presidential elections in August 2020. According to the independent observers, the humanitarian organization that is ineligible to engage in politics has recruited thousands of people to serve on election commissions. The Golos platform proved the facts of the election fraud at many polling stations where the representatives of the Red Cross served as election commission members.
NAM addressed the International Red Cross Movement with the demand to investigate its Belarusian branch. In response to this allegation, the parent organization of the Red Cross issued a vague statement, commenting that the people who participated in the work of the election commissions could have simply been members of the organization rather than its employees and volunteers. Further, it denied that the management of the Belarusian Red Cross possessed any information about the participation of “some of its members” in the electoral process.
Finally, speaking to the Swiss radio, the ICRC President Peter Maurer responded to a biting letter from the writer Sasha Filipenka who had asked to stop the cooperation with the criminal Lukashenko regime, requesting a visit to the overcrowded Belarusian prisons with an inspection. Maurer stated that he did not have the mandate to visit prisons and that all issues needed to be resolved with the government of the country.
Authorities continue to intimidate Belarusians with cruel punishments
Anastasia Peravozchykava from Homel, previously given 90 days for participating in riots, was sentenced to 15 more days. This means that she will spend 105 days in the temporary containment cell. This is a record term that has ever been served by a citizen of Belarus for participation in peaceful protests under an administrative article. Human rights activists have already informed the UN Special Rapporteurs about the egregious situation with the persecution of Ms. Peravozchykava.
In Brest, nine people were sentenced to 3 – 4.5 years in a colony in the case of the riots on 10 August. Two minors are among the convicts – both have received 3 years in an educational colony.
In Homel, a 66-year-old teacher was detained by the riot police with the use of physical force. According to her relatives, during the arrest she had been knocked down and hit in the face. The woman spent five days in the temporary detention center without receiving any parcels from her relatives. Today she has been convicted and fined in excess of her monthly pension.
Today, despite the lack of evidence and inconsistencies in the charges, the court of the Tsentralny district of Minsk sentenced a resident of the capital to three years in the open prison for an SMS-message containing threats toward a riot policeman’s wife. The accused also has to compensate for the moral damage in the amount of BYN 2,500 (USD 960).
Hrodna musician and activist Ihar Bantsar has been on a dry hunger strike for 7 days. He does it to protest against political persecution. Ihar is getting weaker, but he is still able to walk on his feet. He is determined.
A provocative song for Eurovision from Belarus will be checked for its compliance with the rules
The information portal of the Eurovision Song Contest Eurovoix reported that the song of the band Galasy ZMesta which Belarus has chosen for participation in the Eurovision Song Contest would be checked for its compliance with the rules of the contest. The editors of the portal have noticed open support of the illegitimate Belarusian authorities in the lyrics of the contest song. The song contest is outside politics. Its organizers will oppose all attempts to use this cultural event for political purposes.
Before that, Sweden had excluded Belarus from the international jury in the national selection for the Eurovision.
For more information on the events of 10 March 2021, please visit Infocenter Free Belarus 2020: