Viktar Babaryka refuses to testify in court; searches targeting human rights defenders continue; Belarusians demand that Norwegian Yara terminates the contract with Belaruskali; Lviv authorities refuse to buy MAZ buses
6 April 2021 | Voice of Belarus
Viktar Babaryka gave a speech and refused to testify in court
Babaryka did not admit his guilt in court, insisting that the initiation of a criminal case against him was politically motivated. In conclusion, he stated: “For quite a long time I could not answer the question whether I did the right thing on 12 May [announcing my presidential ambitions]. There were consequences for my business that I have been building for 25 years, as well as for the people that I worked with, for my son, and for my friends. But one one thing I know for sure, the only motive that I had to act as I did – I want to live in a country where the law prevails.”
Minister of Foreign Affairs: criminal cases against representatives of Polish organizations are fair
Minister of Foreign Affairs Uladzimir Makei considered the criminal cases brought against the representatives of Polish organizations in Belarus to be fair: “[These cases] have specific reasons, and there is solid evidence of crimes. What our partners are trying to present to the international organizations as the oppression of the Polish minority in Belarus is absolutely untrue.”
Human rights defenders in the spotlight of the repressive machine
A human rights activist and one of the organizers of “The Machine Breathes, but I Don’t” exhibition, promptly closed down by the authorities, Tanya Hatsura-Yavorska faces crimanal charges, being accused of financing unrest. The woman has four children.
Today, police also searched the home of Enira Bronitskaya, a human rights activist from Human Constanta and a member of the International Committee for the Investigation of Torture in Belarus.
Belarusians demand that Norwegian Yara breaks its contract with Belaruskali
The Belaruskali strike committee wrote an open letter to Svein Tore Holsether, the CEO of the Norwegian company Yara. The miners again demand to terminate the contract with the Belarusian enterprise, stating that “the leadership of Belaruskali is deliberately misleading its foreign partners”.
In the letter, representatives of the strike committee point out the ongoing pressure against the workers: “During your negotiations, hundreds of our colleagues were subjected to reprisals, arrests, torture in prisons, fines, dismissals, some were forced to flee the country, fearing for their lives.”
The Belarusians of Lithuania also demand the termination of the contract with Belaruskali.
Mayor of Lviv: the city is not going to buy 100 MAZ buses
Andriy Sadovyi has announced that 100 MAZ buses will not be purchased: “The Belarusian company has won the tender, held by the European Investment Bank. They [MAZ] offered the lowest price, beating the Ukrainian competitors. But we have no right to finance the ‘regime’. We will ask the EIB to hold the tenders again.”
A museum tour guide was detained for the “Pahonia” badge by the cadets, for whom he gave the tour
Yury Kuushynau, a 29-year-old researcher at the Museum of the History of the Great Patriotic War, gave a tour of the museum for the cadets from the Faculty of Internal Troops of the Military Academy. When the tour was over, the same cadets and their boss ran into the historian again – this time in the underground – and detained him for the “Pahonia” badge on his backpack.
“I was wearing a mask, and, of course, at first they did not recognize me,” recalls Kuushynau. “After I took the mask off, almost everyone started staring at the floor, and their boss pulled his mask on immediately. I asked: ‘Well, how did you like the tour?’ He replied: ‘Yes, I liked it’. And then he looked away: ‘I’m doing my job, you understand everything yourself’.”
The court sentenced Kuushynau to 15 days of administrative arrest.