Belarus Daily | 2 Mar

The verdict against the doctor Artsiom Sarokin and the journalist Katsiaryna Barysevich; the involvement of the Belarusian Red Cross Organization in rigging elections; the dismissal of a well-known intensive care physician for telling the truth about the COVID-19 situation

2 March 2021 | Voice of Belarus
Artsiom Sarokin trial

The verdict on the doctor and the journalist: guilty for telling the truth

Today the verdict was announced on TUT.BY journalist Katsiaryna Barysevich and doctor Artsiom Sarokin in the case of divulging medical information.

On 13 November 2020, an article authored by Katsiaryna Barysevich, citing medical documents and a doctor’s commentary, claimed that no alcohol was detected in Raman Bandarenka’s blood. This refuted the statements of the Investigative Committee and Alexander Lukashenko that Bandarenka was drunk. “He was drunk, there is a report…” Lukashenko publicly stated. At the same time, Raman’s relatives have no complaints to the journalist and the doctor and say that they gave permission to publish this information.

There was a closed trial. The court found the doctor and the journalist guilty. Katsiaryna Barysevich was sentenced to six months in prison and a fine of 100 base units (more than 1,100 USD). Artsiom Sarokin – to two years in prison with a suspension of one year and a fine of 50 base units (about 550 USD). He was released in the courtroom.

Belarusian human rights activists recognized Katsiaryna Barysevich and Artsiom Sarokin as political prisoners, and the international human rights organization Amnesty International – prisoners of conscience.

Artsiom Sarokin and Katsiaryna Barysevich.
Artsiom Sarokin and Katsiaryna Barysevich.
Source: TUT.BY

The TUT.BY edition, where Katsiaryna Barysevich works, published a statement that all editorial staff considered the sentence illegal and unfair.

Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya harshly condemned the courts decision: “The verdict to Artsiom Sarokin and Katsiaryna Barysevich is proof not of their guilt, but of the fact that the truth has become a criminal offense for the regime. And for this truth, Katsiaryna was sent to a colony for six months, and Artsiom – for two years with a reprieve of one year. And were given huge fines. This terrible political and legal crisis can only be stopped by Lukashenko’s resignation and new fair elections. And we know for sure that after his resignation, all those convicted for political reasons will be rehabilitated, because they are our Heroes of Change.”

The resuscitator who was the first in Belarus to speak honestly about COVID-19 is fired

Resuscitator Uladzimir Martau.
Resuscitator Uladzimir Martau.
Source: TUT.BY

The head of the department of anesthesiology and intensive care, philosopher, author of books on history and medicine, Uladzimir Martau, is fired from the Vitsebsk emergency hospital (the contract is not extended).

It was this hospital that suffered the first outbreak of the COVID-19 epidemic in the spring of 2020. Uladzimir Martau became one of the first doctors in Belarus who was not afraid to declare that there was a problem and it was serious, at the time when the authorities assured that COVID-19 did not exist and people could not die from it. The doctor criticized the state for the fact that money for medicine was allocated according to the leftover principle: “more will go for bulletproof vests than for hospitals.” In August 2020, Martau issued an open letter in which he spoke about the violence by the security forces and the situation in Belarus after the presidential elections.

Belarus has recently witnessed a record outflow of medical personnel. For January 2021, it was more than 700 people. Doctors are repressed, they resign and emigrate.

Belarusians demand an international investigation into the participation of the Belarusian Red Cross in election fraud

Belarusian Red Cross
Source: KBR.BY

Representatives of the Belarusian diaspora in various countries of the world have launched a campaign on social networks #TyrannyPoisonsRedCross in order to draw the attention of the world community to the participation of the Belarusian Red Cross Society (BRC) in rigging the presidential election. Campaigners publish a link to a document containing the names of 362 members of election commissions from the Belarusian Red Cross Society who signed election protocols for the presidential elections in Belarus in August 2020. According to the Voice platform, these protocols were rigged. Each name is cross-referenced with the data confirming the fraud. The activities of the Belarusian Red Cross Society are subject to the Geneva Convention and imply its neutrality and impartiality. Therefore, the participation of the BRC in rigging the election results is a violation of not only national but also international law.

Sasha Filipenko, a well-known Belarusian and Russian writer, recently addressed the management of the International Red Cross organization. In his letter he points out that the neutrality of the organization in political matters is out of the question, as the chairman of the Belarusian Red Cross organization is Health Minister Dzmitry Pinevich. And he is directly subordinate to Lukashenko. Sasha Filipenko recalls the pressure on doctors that accompanied Pinevich’s tenure as a minister, and cites the dismissals, beatings, arrests, and departure of doctors from Belarus.

For more information on the events of 2 March 2021, please visit Infocenter Free Belarus 2020: