Reporters without Borders: Lukashenka’s Innermost Thoughts

Aliaksandr Lukashenka regularly appears in the organisation’s list including enemies of freedom of information. Having entered about forty names in the list Reporters without Borders also publishes a particular essay touching each “enemy”. In this way the authors have made an attempt to disclose their innermost thoughts. Lukashenka’s allies, Vladimir Putin and Ilkham Aliev have been listed as well. publishes the full text of the essay*:

“It is better to be a dictator than gay!” With this comment in March last year, I think I made myself clear to the German foreign minister, Guido Westerwelle, who complains continually that my country is “Europe’s last dictatorship”. If those fools in Brussels and elsewhere believe that they can make me ease up repression by a single notch or start to relax things, they are making a big mistake. The wind from the Arab Spring stops at the Belarusian border.

I will soon have been running Belarus for 20 years and I do not intend to hand over the reins after all that time. I love the fact that my country has turned into a Soviet Jurassic Park. While my fellow leaders indulge in all sorts of pretences, I am proud to have kept the KGB, including its name, intact.

A few thousand protesters, like those who gathered in all the main towns and cities between December 2010 and summer 2011, will not force me to launch a new era. Journalists even less so – in 2011 alone I had a hundred of them arrested, around 30 of whom were sentenced to prison terms of varying lengths. The special forces roughed them up a little just to teach them how to behave.

These wiseguys depended on the Internet to spread their propaganda, but we did what we had to do to take control of the Web. Access to independent news sites is blocked regularly, Internet users are monitored, opposition groups on social networks are broken up. Since 2010, people who visit Internet cafes and those who use shared connections can be clearly identified and tracked. Even better, Web content is monitored by an “analytical centre” which reports directly to me. I love spying on my fellow citizens and putting those who step out of line back in their place.

Natalia Radzina, the editor of the opposition website, was forced to flee the country, Irina Khalip, who works with the mad Russians at Novaya Gazeta, was released but placed under house arrest.

Despite my efforts, too many pen-pushers object to writing about reality as laid down by myself and persist in sticking their noses into things that do not concern them. National independent newspapers are mired in fines, in the regions entire print runs are regularly seized. It doesn’t matter. These mad dogs are bent on undermining the authority of the government and impugning the honour of the country. I was right to describe media organizations in 2002 as “the most powerful arms of mass destruction of our age”. While I strive to put on an appearance in true Socialist Realism style (smiling faces, fertile field of wheat, flags blowing proudly in the wind), they spoil things by speaking of economic crisis, bombings and popular dissatisfaction. I don’t like my dreams being trampled like that.

*to show how some predators really think, we [ Reporters without Borders] have presented their innermost thoughts in the first person. We had to use a little imagination, of course, but the facts alluded to conform to reality.

Belsat, following

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