The representative of official Belarus to the UN accused human rights defenders of distorting information, if Belarus is ready to disconnect from SWIFT, coronavirus is sweeping the country, and repressions against doctors continue
4 December 2020 | BYHelp-Mediagroup
Will the banking system of Belarus be disconnected from SWIFT and what will this lead to?
Disconnection from the SWIFT system is seen as a way of Western pressure on the Belarusian authorities. Against the backdrop of a falling economy, disconnecting from SWIFT will significantly affect the functioning of Belarusian business and will become a lever of pressure on the current government. The Belarusian business elite and Russian partners will be faced with the fact: either Lukashenko leaves, or because of his desire to retain power by any means, the economic crisis will worsen.
Disconnecting Belarus from SWIFT is an extreme measure, before taking such steps, it is necessary to study the opinion of the Belarusian society and experts. Therefore, on 3 December, Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya’s office launched a survey among Belarusians on whether they support disconnecting from the SWIFT system. Voting takes place on the Golos platform and will last until 6 December this year. At the moment, more than a quarter of a million people have already voted, the majority of Belarusians are ready to incur economic damage, realizing that this is a temporary measure. At the same time, the voters are concerned whether the disconnection from SWIFT will lead to Russia’s absorption of the banking system of Belarus.
UN High Commissioner: the human rights situation in Belarus continues to deteriorate
At today’s meeting of the UN Human Rights Council, High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet said that since September this year, the human rights situation in Belarus has continued to deteriorate. According to the High Commissioner, more than 27 thousand Belarusians have been detained in recent months, more than 900 people have become involved in criminal cases – they are election campaigners, journalists, human rights activists, bloggers, more than 2,000 citizens have filed complaints about beatings by the security forces, but no criminal proceedings on these facts are ongoing. The commission has at its disposal numerous and reliable reports about the beating of detainees in police offices and detention centers.
A member of the Presidium of the Coordination Council, Nobel Prize Laureate in Literature Svetlana Alexievich, made a speech. She recalled the persecution of protesters in Belarus, humiliation, and torture, and called for the creation of special mechanisms to investigate the crimes of the Belarusian authorities against their people.
On behalf of 41 countries, a British representative made a statement in support of persecuted journalists in Belarus.
At the same time, the permanent representative of official Belarus, Yury Ambrazevich, accused the UN human rights defenders of distorting the situation and UN interference in the country’s internal affairs. According to Ambrazevich, the human rights situation in Belarus does not deserve special consideration at the UN. He stated that the protests are on the decline and called on the UN to stop “rinsing the Belarusian issue”.
Belarusian doctors are under repressions; specialists are in increasingly short supply. Minsk clinics stopped scheduled appointments due to COVID 19
Scheduled appointments in Minsk clinics have been suspended from today due to a hard epidemiologic situation. All medical efforts are thrown at the delivery of emergency medical aid. Besides doctors, medical students will fight the coronavirus.
Yesterday in Belarus there was a record growth of detected cases of coronavirus per day: 1,774 new cases according to the official statistics. According to unofficial data, the increase in cases of infection in Belarus is much scarier: nearly 6,000 people per day (along with the total population of 9,408,400). The number of patients in queues in clinics comes up to 100.
Quarantine wasn’t enforced as Lukashenko didn’t regard it as an economically viable measure and called the coronavirus the shield for world repartition. Face-mask requirements have become the only precautionary measure in the country.
According to doctors, there is a shortage of individual protective equipment, and they have to wear disposable face masks several times, there is also a lack of medical staff. WHO, UN, and other international institutions insisted on quarantine measures enforcement as well as reproached the Ministry of Health of Belarus for inaccurate information on the situation of the epidemic development.
According to the Belarusian Medical Solidarity Foundation as of 24 November 2020 more than 180 doctors were subject to detention, arrests, some of them were beaten. More than 25 doctors and nurses were arrested for 13-15 days. Among them, there are well-known Belarusian doctors, experienced professionals, and members of international medical associations.
At least 17 doctors, professors, and nurses were either fired or had to do it under the pressure of administration. Among them the director of the Republican Scientific and Practical Center Cardiology, rectors of three medical universities, director of the Republican Scientific and Practical Center of Pediatric oncology, hematology and immunology, professors of the medical university.
Anesthesiologist and resuscitator Artsiom Sarokin from the Emergency care hospital was accused under a punitive article. The General Prosecutor’s Office accused him of public disclosure of medical privacy – Raman Bandarenka’s results of the tests for ethanol. The result of the test disproved the official version of the investigation proclaiming that the killed man was drunk. Currently, the doctor is under arrest.
21 students of the Belarusian state medical university were expelled, in two weeks 15 of them were reinstated.
4,500 medical workers signed an open letter to the authorities with the requirements to stop violence, punish all the guilty, dismiss criminal proceedings for political reasons, and conduct new elections.
Head of Council of the Republic Ms. Kachanava met students of the Faculty of Journalism of the Belarusian State University. Social networks can’t stop laughing at her quotes
Far from everyone was invited for the meeting with the head of the Council of the Republic Natallia Kachanava – only pro-government students. Many questions were confirmed with the professors in advance. Nevertheless, the students asked sharp questions, and Kachanava gave out several quotes that became viral. Here are some of them.
Kachanava connected the bombing of Yugoslavia with the existence of pornographic movies in the country:
“I will provide an example from my life. The year 1989. I went abroad for the first time. Yugoslavia is a magnificent country…Magnificent! There is a surplus of goods in the stores, the country and the people are beautiful, everything is fine. However, at that time pornographic movies were on screens, spirituality and morality were disappearing, and in several years the country was just destroyed.”
On trust in the state mass media:
“You say the state mass media lose the trust of people. They do not! No way! It is watched by people who have watched it always. Like me. Those in their seventies. They downloaded the books to my tablet PC, but I don’t read them, because I don’t like reading.”
“I haven’t noticed fakes on BT (state TV and radio company that is fully subject to the regime – editor’s note). If you notice, tell me about it. I haven’t seen fakes so far in anything they show.”
The dialogue between a student and Ms. Kachanava:
“If journalists are repressed and detained, who will report on everything that is happening?”
More about mass media:
“Journalism is not a crime. Journalists are prosecuted as other people – for unauthorized events.”
“If mass media carries information containing hostility, then I believe that such media should not exist.”
For more information on the events of 4 December 2020, please visit Infocenter Free Belarus 2020: