‘Don’t Play with the Dictator’: Repressions non-stop (video)

‘Don’t play with the dictator!’ former political prisoners call. During a conference held in Warsaw on May 6, politicians and activists were seeking ways to take advantages of the hockey championship in Minsk and stop repressions in Belarus.

Political prisoners, strict laws, pressure on the dissent. Human rights defenders repeatedly called to remove the championship from Belarus but their arguments have been neglected: there are only two days to its opening here.

English subs:

{movie}’Don’t Play with the Dictator’: Repressions non-stop|right|16301{/movie}

NATALLIA RADZINA, Charter’97 editor-in-chief:

‘One should investigate what way and who lobbied the interests of Lukashenka’s regime, in particular, in the International Ice Hockey Federation. It is evident that its head Rene Fasel had his hand in it.’

Now Belarusian and European politicians suggest people should have moral suasion on the top sports official.

ANDREY SANNIKAU, European Belarus leader:

‘Both Belarusian and foreign human rights defenders should inform Mr Fasel and the IIHF of every single fact of repressions.’

At the same time, the world’s attention should be drawn to the situation in Belarus. Every legal way is welcome, because it is highly unlikely that any protest actions will be sanctioned during the championship.


‘If people make an attempt to take to the streets, they will be grabbed and arrested at once. The authorities are intimidating citizens with the help of these preventive arrests.’

Unfortunately, these preventive measures have become a hallmark of the 2014 championship in Minsk.


‘These are consequences of the 2010 post-election protests. As the regime is scared because of the lack of people’s support they are taking such steps. It is terrible: there has been nothing like this before.’

The reality is that persons suspected of their intention to support political prisoners might well spend the period of the mega sports event in Minsk behind bars.

Ales Yashchanka. In Focus


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