Denmark refuses to participate in the Ice Hockey World Championship if it is held in Minsk; Patriarch Kirill called on Belarus for a peaceful dialogue; the amount of fines and the number of victims during peaceful protests are announced; the first Belarusian online school in Ukraine needs help
7 January 2021 | BYHelp-Mediagroup
Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya sent a Christmas message to Orthodox Belarusians
On 7 January Orthodox Belarusians celebrate Christmas. Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya sent her wishes to everyone who celebrates this holiday and called in prayers to support those who ended up in a hospital or prison just for believing in a better future for their country.
“Today I want to wish Merry Christmas to Belarusian believers and Orthodox Christians all over the world. This year Christmas comes to us at a difficult time, but after all, on Christmas Day we celebrate the birth of hope and faith.
Over the past months, Orthodox believers in Belarus have regularly suffered from lawlessness. Those who opposed the violence were arrested and fired. There were also those who were detained on their way to church on a Sunday, and in Grodno, the police dispersed a children’s matinee on the territory of a parish. Now the Belarusian Orthodox Church is threatened with deprivation of its legal status. But I believe that next Christmas we will celebrate in a Belarus where all this will be impossible.
Church should always remain a place that inspires, unites and supports people regardless of their religion. And prayers should always speak of peace and love.
With your prayer today you can support your loved ones and companions. In prayer, you can touch on everyone who ended up in a hospital or prison just for believing in a better future for their country. In prayer, you can support even those whose actions you do not approve of. After all, this is the beginning of a peaceful dialogue, which is so important for all of us.”
Sviatlana is convinced that Belarusians won’t let themselves be fooled again. For this purpose, the Skhod – Belarusian People’s Convention has been created – a new instrument of direct democracy. In contrast to the All-Belarusian People’s Assembly initiated by the authorities, in which only the appointed officials will take part, the Skhod – Belarusian People’s Convention is a platform where every Belarusian can choose his or her delegate or become such a delegate if he or she is chosen. These will be real people who have real, not falsified, support of the public, with any political views.
Patriarch Kirill calls on the Belarusian authorities for a peaceful dialogue with the people
In a Christmas interview with Russia-1 TV channel, Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia urged the Belarusian authorities not to put off issues that provoke disagreement in society and to discuss them in a peaceful, reasonable and businesslike way. He urged to think about how many revolutions and coups have already taken place, but no one, nowhere and never achieved peace, tranquility, and prosperity with the help of violence. The Patriarch wished that attempts to solve the issues of dissent in Belarus by force would cease. Dialogue between the authorities and the people, the authorities and the society, with the participation of all forces, should begin to develop with the aim of stabilising the situation and developing Belarus comprehensively.
Denmark will boycott the IIHF World Championship in Minsk
The director of the Danish Hockey Union Ulrik Larsen said that the Danish national hockey team may refuse to play at the Ice Hockey World Championship in Minsk. He believes that another decision on the venue needs to be found. Larsen said that he met with representatives of the hockey federations of the neighboring Nordic countries and is convinced that all countries share Denmark’s position regarding the World Cup in Minsk. He is now awaiting clarification from the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF). The IIHF includes the President of the Danish Hockey Union Henrik Bach-Nielsen. In his opinion, the majority of IIHF members find it difficult to imagine Minsk as a host. The head of the IIHF René Fasel will visit Minsk in the near future to inform about the decision of the federation about the location of the championship.
Amount of fines paid by Belarusians for participation in peaceful protests has been announced
Viasna Human Rights Center has published its statistics on the unprecedented scale of repressions in Belarus. During the five months since 9 August 2020, the total number of those detained during the protests reached at least 32,084: more than 900 people were detained on criminal charges, while 169 people were recognized as political prisoners and this number is constantly growing.
In total, Belarusians paid the “authorities” almost 1,8 million Belarusian rubles (720,000 USD / 570,000 euros) in the form of fines.
Total numbers provided by human rights defenders:
– 25,326 detainees, more than 1,000 of them were detained by the police two or more times.
– 83,006 days behind bars or 227 years
– 701,000 USD in fines
– 381 beaten and badly beaten
– 482 hospitalized
– at least 10 people with gunshot wounds
– 5 killed
Since the start of the presidential election campaign in May 2020, the total number of those detained for participating in peaceful rallies has reached more than 33,000 people, over 900 criminal cases have been initiated, 169 accused were recognized as political prisoners, and their number is constantly growing.
This is the most large-scale political repression in Europe in the past 40 years.
First Belarusian online school in Ukraine needs help
The first Belarusian Online School for expatriates needs support. With the start of the protests, people who have been persecuted by the Belarusian authorities, most of them IT specialists and intellectuals, are fleeing from Belarus to Ukraine. A Belarusian online secondary school was created for children of the expatriates. Upon graduation, children will receive a Ukrainian state-recognized certificate.
The founder of the school, Anastasiya Shpakouskaya, has gathered a team of the best Belarusian teachers who conduct lessons in Belarusian and Russian language and literature directly from Belarus. The rest of the subjects is taught by the teachers of the private Ukrainian school Gremium.
“I have gathered a team of the best Belarusian teachers (among them such teachers as Hanna Sevyarynets, Vasil Dranko-Maisyuk) who read for our children from Belarus.
The Belarusian vector of subjects consists of the Belarusian language, literature, history of Belarus, complemented by the Russian language and literature, and in-depth studies of English and IT.
Our unique school started working in the first half of November 2020. Since the start, 8 Belarusian children joined the school and several more students are at the stage of submitting application documents.
We managed to provide work for six teachers from Belarus.
We understand that the demand for education at our school will only grow in the near future.
The project was not initially created as a commercial one, proceeding from an understanding of the situation that families forced to leave Belarus need support and assistance.
For the first two months of the school’s existence, I had an agreement with a sponsor to cover the costs of the school. Namely, the hourly pay for teachers from the private Ukrainian school Gremium, who, based on their licensing, are not cheap, and of course the hourly pay for the Belarusian teachers. As well as the payment for external studies (theory, videos, and printed materials) and payment for the teaching platform.
Now I am looking for people who are ready to further support our school.
A lot is said around about helping victims, re-locators, students from Belarus, but no one provides support to school-age children, and this is the most unprotected group of people in need of high-quality, comfortable and relevant education.
The cost of operating the first Belarusian online school in Ukraine is about 5,000 USD per month. This is the money that we can invest in the future of our children, and hence the future of Belarus.
We count on your support of the first Belarusian online school in Ukraine”, Anastasiya writes in her address.
For more information on the events of 7 January 2021, please visit Infocenter Free Belarus 2020: