‘Non-parasite’ protests aftermath: Belarus regime gets even with journalists, activists

Belarusian activists and journalists were tried and punished on the day of the 31st anniversary of the Chernobyl tragedy.

Volha Nikalaichyk was repeatedly fined for taking part in a number of rallies. On Wednesday, the woman was attended by officers of the court. In 10 days, her mother’s wall unit, spoons, kitchen utensils may be taken from Volha’s house on account of the fines she failed to pay (the amount is reaching $ 9,000).

“In fact, the state is seizing my mother’s possessions in the eyes of my colleagues and friends,” Nikalaichyk says.

The only chance to keep the things is to prove that they do belong to her mother. To do this, one should show receipts. But who holds the receipts for items purchased 10, 20 or 30 years ago?

Brest-based Belsat TV contributor and blogger Syarhei Pyatrukhin is well-known for his investigative reports published on the People’s Reporter website. The journalist was detained at the Polish-Belarusian border and sent to serve 15 days in prison he had been sentenced to for covering the protests against the notorious ‘social parasites’ decree.

“People realize that state media sugar-cover the real facts, and people are looking for reliable information. Now a person, even if they are not present in social media, stand a chance to find proper information on Belsat or Radio Liberty – people are giving up watching state-controlled TV,” the blogger believes.

Those who give a helping hand to the arrested repressed are also at the gunpoint: Ales Byalyatski’s associate, human rights activist Tatsyana Ravyaka of Center, was BYN 460 fined for allegedly using foul language and resisting police. Although the video of her being arrested proves otherwise.


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