100 days of protests in Belarus: Doctors issue an ultimatum, a pregnant woman receives 25 days of detention, and a young man who was hit by a bus owned by security officials is accused of disorderly conduct
16 November 2020 | BYHelp-Mediagroup
100 days of struggle: the protesters have not backed down
Exactly 100 days ago, Belarusians surprised the whole world and even themselves with their unity and persistence in the fight against the dictatorship. This struggle continues now; it goes on at different levels and in different regions every day.
Slowly but surely, new members are joining the strike committees at large enterprises. Today, nine employees of Belaruskali, two of Naftan and one of Hrodna Azot declared their protest.
Faculty and staff of Polatsk State University made an appeal to the authorities and people of Belarus. They pointed out that in Belarus – our common home – there should be no place for lies, rudeness and violence.
100 days of struggle: officials crank up violence
In response to the protests, the authorities’ actions are becoming more cruel, inhumane and lawless.
People who speak Belarusian are marked with paint to ensure harsher punishment.
A court judge sentenced a pregnant girl, who was detained with her mother, not to 15 (a typical sentence given to protesters) but 25 days of detention.
A criminal case for disorderly conduct was opened against a man who was hit by a minibus owned by the security forces. The law enforcement officers “established” that the man deliberately threw stones at the minibus.
100 days of protests: security forces lay a 15-hour siege on protesters
On 15 and 16 November, authorities extensively destroyed memorials erected throughout the country to commemorate Raman Bandarenka. The main memorial on the Square of Changes was also destroyed. The people who defended the memorial were arrested. Many were able to hide in the nearby houses.
The brutal dispersal ended with a military siege.
Throughout the whole evening, night and morning, for a total of 15 hours, the security forces went from house to house and looked for those who had hidden. They called the apartments and broke into some of them. Everyone who was leaving a house had their documents checked. If a person had no documents confirming their place of residence, the person was detained.
People were forced to hide in basements, in the apartments of strangers. They say that up to 20 people were hiding in some apartments. People sat on the floor, did not get up and did not turn on the lights as the security forces tracked them through the windows using drones. If motion was detected in an apartment, security forces would break into it and take all those present to the prisoner transport vehicles. In one of these apartments, two people were able to escape detention by hiding in a sofa; others in the apartment were taken away.
One group of protesters, while fleeing from their pursuers, rang the bell of an apartment in order to be saved, and crashed a wedding. They received a warm welcome and were taken in as guests.
100 days of confrontation: doctors announced an ultimatum – it is unbearable to endure bullying and humiliation anymore
The White Coats doctor association has published data according to which an increase in COVID-19 cases across the country ranges from 6 to 12 thousand people per day. The official statistics provided by the Ministry of Health are 1,100-1,200 people per day.
With such a load, doctors are at the highest risk; there have already been reports of two doctors who died due to the coronavirus. However, even under such circumstances, the authorities continue to put pressure on doctors, not providing hospitals with even minimal means of protection.
On 15 November, three oncologists were deprived of their freedom. And today, on 16 November, it became known that Andrei Vitushka, a highly qualified pediatric intensivist who works with premature newborns, a candidate of medical sciences, a master of science in humanitarian studies, a doctor of the highest category with almost 20 years of experience, has been denied an extension of his contract. On 10 August, Andrei Vitushka was arrested along with his wife while they were waiting for their son near the police station. The doctor had openly expressed his political position.
The White Coats doctor association issued an ultimatum to the authorities, having promised mass layoffs if their demands for an end to the violence, release of political prisoners and invalidation of the presidential election results are not heard.
Earlier, doctors of the city of Vitsebsk recorded a strong video message:
BY_HELP continues payments even after the intrigues of the authorities
BYSOL Belarus Solidarity Foundation launched a new initiative after the authorities began to block the bank accounts of Belarusians who received aid from the BY_HELP campaign. It directly connects those who need help with those who are ready to provide it. In addition, BYSOL, which previously provided assistance to those who lost their jobs for political reasons, will now help various civil society development initiatives – for instance, courtyard initiatives.
For more information on the events of 16 November 2020, please visit Infocenter Free Belarus 2020: