National Anti-Crisis Management submitted a petition to Yara management requesting termination of the contract with Belaruskali; dismissals and court trials have become a way to scare and take revenge; pressure on the Union of Poles continues unabated
14 April 2021 | Voice of Belarus
NAM submitted a petition from Belarusians who support breaking the contract with Belaruskali to the Yara management
At the beginning of the year, the National Anti-Crisis Management, together with the Belaruskali strike committee, announced the start of signature collection under a petition addressed to Yara. The petition contains a request to suspend the cooperation with the Belarusian producer of potash fertilizers until the repressions in Belarus end.
The petition launched on Change.org was signed by more than 83.5 thousand people. Now the petition has been forwarded to the management of the Norwegian company.
Pressure on the Union of Poles in Belarus continues
Andrzej Pisalnik, the executive board secretary of the unregistered Union of Poles in Belarus and editor-in-chief of the organization’s website, was summoned to the prosecutor’s office. He has been warned against making statements that might not be in conformity with the requirements of the Belarusian legislation on national minorities and on countering extremism.
Also, the apartment of Andrzej Pisalnik and his wife, journalist Iness Todryk-Pisalnik, was raided by security agents.
Court trials have become a mechanism for intimidation and revenge for the authorities, while termination of employment for political reasons is a common practice now
In Mahiliou, Brest-based bloggers Siarhei Piatrukhin and Aliaksandr Kabanau were sentenced to 3 years in a penal colony. They were found guilty of organizing and preparing actions that grossly violate public order and of insulting a government official. The bloggers themselves were not allowed in the courtroom: they were removed from the courtroom at the beginning of the trial, and the judge rejected all the petitions requesting participation of the accused in the trial proceedings.
A teacher from Ivanava was sentenced to 2.5 years in an open prison. In fall 2020, she made a repost about a police officer filming protesters in the Telegram chat Ivanava for Life (Ivanava dlia zhizni).
A Hrodna resident is being tried for posting an Instagram story that allegedly insulted a local riot police officer. The accused woman denies all accusations.
A young woman is on trial in Minsk for using a word meaning “a woman of easy virtue” when talking about the head of the Central Election Commission Lidziya Yarmoshyna in a local chat.
Aliaksandr Vaitseshyk, a human rights activist from Baranavichy, was detained in the middle of a trial. He was monitoring the trial proceedings and was detained for allegedly photographing the accused. According to Aliaksandr, he only recorded the process using a voice recorder, which is allowed by law.
Unreasonable dismissals of people for political reasons continue
Anastasiya Piatrova, a member of the Opera Theater orchestra, was fired from her job after she had been detained while leaving a pizzeria with take-out food in her hands on 27 March and sentenced to 15 days of administrative arrest.
Over the past two weeks four doctors have lost their jobs for political reasons in Minsk. A comment under a post on Facebook and walking down the avenue being “dressed too nicely” are among the reasons for the termination of employment.
Senitsa residents created a photo project about children waiting for their political prisoner parents
“You would not wish being in the shoes of these children: their moms cannot hug them, talk to them and wipe away their tears. But we know that everything will change and very soon these mothers and fathers will be able to take their children into their arms and say: ‘Hello, my dear, it’s over, we have won,’” the authors of the project say.
Meanwhile, the authorities restricted access to dissidentby.com, which is an online resource publishing information about political prisoners. The website contains a list of people who are currently in custody, their basic information, as well as banking details that can be used to provide help to the families.