Several people threatened with criminal liability for the creation of memorials, the authorities came up with a new type of genocide of their own people, scientists continue losing jobs
17 November 2020 | BYHelp-Mediagroup
A new kind of genocide of their own people: the residents of an entire district of Minsk were left without water and heat for their political position. Belarusians have shown their unity again
For several days a region on the outskirts of Minsk called “Novaya Baravaya” has been in the spotlight. “Novaya Baravaya” is known for the activism of local residents, regular meetings in courtyards, a large number of red and white symbols on the playgrounds and in the windows of apartments.
Water disappeared in the area on Sunday. Employees of the municipal service in Minsk could not fix the problem neither on the day it happened nor the next day. By Monday lunchtime, it turned out that the taps in the water supply had been deliberately damaged. Thus, 15 thousand residents, including families with small children, have been living without any water for 3 days now. In addition to that, there are many people in the area who have fallen ill with COVID-19.
Almost immediately, the residents of the area suggested that this was revenge for their political position. The reliability of this assumption was confirmed when photographs of the failed valve appeared: the handle was removed, its metal parts were sawed off and welded.
On Tuesday, 17 November, the heating in the apartments also disappeared.
Considering the publicity that the problem with water in “Novaya Baravaya” has drawn in, Lukashenko instructed his officials to deal with the problem, but this did not bring any results – the residents of the district are still living without water.
While the repair of the water supply system was deliberately delayed, the Belarusians once again demonstrated an example of solidarity and self-organization: people organized the delivery of water to the district and began offering their homes to residents of “Novaya Baravaya” as temporary housing.
The Belarusian Helsinki Committee sent an appeal to the UN Special Rapporteur on human rights to safe drinking water and sanitary services due to the situation with the cutoff of water and heating in the Minsk residential complex “Novaya Baravaya”.
“This is a new word in repression, the government uses social and living conditions for pressure,” the appeal says.
Some resigned in protest, others were fired because of their political views
Workers of various factories continue to announce that they’ve joined the strike. Among them are employees of “Belaruskali”, BMZ, “Naftan”, NPO “Passat”, Salihorsk Construction Trust No.3.
It also became known that the actor of the Republican Theater of Belarusian Drama Mikalai Stonka resigned in protest against censorship, and the security forces took an employee of the Mahiliou Drama Theater to the police directly from work.
The leadership of the Institute of History of the National Academy of Sciences did not renew the contract with a famous Belarusian historian Mikola Volkau. This is the third non-renewal of a professional contract with the institute’s employees within these days.
They beat them while detaining, now they keep on giving them terms. What is happening to those detained on 17 November
Courts continue to consider the cases of the journalists detained on Sunday. So far, BelaPAN journalist Andrei Shauliuha was sentenced to 15 days of arrest. The “Belsat” journalist, who was detained in an apartment on the Square of Changes, was sentenced to 7 days of administrative arrest.
The journalist Taras Krutskikh (Tarnalitski) was sentenced to 25 days of arrest, unlike his colleagues, during the action he was not on his journalistic duties.
Minsk resident Mikhail told about how he was detained and beaten: “One man twisted my left arm behind my back so that I would not move, and the others beat me on the back and face with their fists. They tried to hit the liver, but I covered that side with my right hand. Then they tied both hands with ties and with the words “Handle this one” they handed me over to a prisoner transporter. There were three men in uniform with the inscription “police”. They put metal handcuffs over the ties, put me on the floor and began to kick and beat me with batoons. From what the doctors told me, I have a brain concussion in addition to fractures.”
Everything has already been “frozen” and “downgraded” – what is the official Minsk left with in terms of international policy issues
Alexander Lukashenko stated at a meeting on international policy: “Belarus is always ready to cooperate with those who observe the principles of mutual respect (I’ll say frankly – with those who respect us), sincerity and decency. It is sad that some of our so-called partners were suddenly not ready to work in such conditions.”
The Minister of Ministry of Internal Affairs of Belarus Uladzimir Makei said that Belarus is downgrading the level of participation in the EU’s Eastern Partnership program to expert level due to “attempts to politicize a number of projects”. The European Union replied: they froze and lowered the level of all dialogues with Belarus even earlier, and Minsk “should have taken steps to resume the dialogue, and not continue to aggravate the situation”.
Lukashenko’s assistant in Minsk promised criminal prosecution for memorials in the city
Alexander Lukashenko’s assistant in the capital, Aliaksandr Barsukou, spoke about the “exemplary order” that should be put in place within a week in Minsk: “I want to warn citizens: no one will stand on ceremony with anyone. The time for persuasion is over. Utilities will clean up whatever they bring. And there will be police officers nearby. Any interference in their actions entails not only administrative but also criminal liability.”
Prior to that, Lukashenko called the memorials “psychological warfare” and “cemeteries”.
Let us remind you that the memorial in memory of the murdered Aliaksandr Taraikouski in Minsk was constantly demolished and the inscription on the asphalt was painted over in memory of the murdered demonstrator. Memorials in memory of Raman Bandarenka appeared throughout the country. This is the way people express their grief. However, now the restoration of the demolished memorials can be punished with criminal liability.
For more information on the events of 17 November 2020, please visit Infocenter Free Belarus 2020: