The IOC banned Lukashenko from participating in the Olympic Games, the Swiss citizen was sentenced to 2.5 years in prison, the security forces began to harshly detain the protesting old people
7 December 2020 | BYHelp-Mediagroup
Lukashenko and National Olympic Committee officials were banned from participating in the Olympic Games
Today, at a meeting of the Executive Board of the International Olympic Committee, it was decided to exclude all members of the Executive Board of the National Olympic Committee of Belarus from their events, including the Olympic Games in Tokyo, which will be held in 2021. The IOC decided that the current leadership of the NOC of Belarus does not protect athletes from political discrimination. Alexander Lukashenko is the President of the National Olympic Committee of Belarus. Also, the Executive Board of the NOC includes Viktor Lukashenko, Dmitri Baskov, Dzmitry Pinevich and others. The IOC suspends all payments to the Belarusian committee, and Olympic scholarships will be paid directly to athletes. In addition, the IOC allowed Belarusian athletes dismissed for their civil position to participate in qualifications for the Olympic Games in Tokyo.
In August, over 1,500 Belarusian athletes signed an open letter demanding to stop the violence in the country and hold new, fair elections. Many of these athletes were fired, and some were arrested and convicted. Earlier, on the initiative of the Belarusian Sports Solidarity Foundation, the International Olympic Committee launched an investigation into Belarus on suspicion of political persecution of athletes.
Swiss citizen sentenced in Belarus to 2.5 years in prison and a fine
Natallia Hershe has been living in Switzerland for 12 years and has the citizenship of this country. Her adult children also live there. In September she came to her homeland, Belarus. After taking part in the women’s march on 19 September, Natallia was arrested for 15 days, and then a criminal case was opened against her for ripping off a balaclava from a riot police officer.
On 7 December, the court sentenced her to 2.5 years in prison and compensation of 1,000 Belarusian rubles (slightly more than 300 euros) in a civil suit from the “injured” security officer. In addition, the court ruled to destroy the national white-red-white flag, which was seized from Natallia.
Swiss Ambassador to Belarus Claude Altermatt, who was present at the trial, said that he would continue to provide support as much as possible within the framework of consular protection.
The Belarusian diaspora in Switzerland, together with the Swiss-German human rights organization Libereco, actively joined in the covering and resolving this issue.
Belarusian pensioners don’t give up no matter what
Pensioners in many cities of Belarus held traditional peaceful rallies today. Previously, the processions were almost unimpeded, but in recent weeks the riot police forces have been harshly dispersing people, using special means, and carrying out detentions. Thus, today ten people were detained at a rally in Minsk, including two journalists. Also a woman born in 1939 is among the detainees, which means she is currently 81 years old. Despite the detentions and the police attempts to disperse the elderly, the marches of the pensioners still took place all over Belarus.
Lukashenko ordered all unemployed people to be forced to work with the help of the police. Tsikhanouskaya gave a harsh comment
At the meeting on economic issues, Alexander Lukashenko said that an unemployed person is “a potential protester in the streets or a future criminal.”
Lukashenko ordered officials to immediately register all the “slackers lazying around” (as he calls the unemployed in the country where the economic situation is very severe) and make them work, even with the help of the police. It should be noted that in his rhetoric Lukashenko constantly hints that hundreds of thousands of peaceful protesters, who have been expressing their civil position and opposing violence for more than 4 months, are slackers. Let us recall that among the detainees there are respected doctors, representatives of the IT sphere, media personalities, business owners in various fields, titled athletes.
Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya commented on this statement: “The main slacker in Belarus is Alexander Lukashenko. Every week his “self-employment” brings the country millions in losses. Every week, honest people are fired and honest businesses are ruined because of him. Because of him, every week Belarusians are forced to leave the country and take out their companies, because sometimes this is the only way to work and to earn money. Lukashenko must leave and give people the opportunity to work in their country.”
For more information on the events of 7 December 2020, please visit Infocenter Free Belarus 2020: