The Charnobylski Shlyakh- 2016 rally started near the “Kastrychnik” cinema on April 26 in Minsk. It was permitted by the Minsk City Executive Committee. It is a traditional rally which has been held by the Belarusian opposition since 1988. This time it took place on the 30th anniversary of the Charnobyl accident.
The organizing committee of the Charnobylski Shlyakh includes the BPF Party, the “Green” Party, the BCD party, the United Civil Party, the movement “For Freedom” and representatives of civil society organizations. Belarusian writer and Nobel laureate Svetlana Alexievich became Honorary Chairwoman of the organizing committee.
At 18:00 people gathered near the cinema. At 18:30 they started moving towards Bangalore Square.
At the head of the column marched the people with “Charnobyl bell.” According to the estimates of our correspondent, the rally gathered from 700 to 1,000 people.
Protesters shouted “No Nuclear Power Plant in Belarus!”
Participant of the rally urged to take make use of the alternative energy sources and to prevent a recurrence of this accident.
At 20:10 the rally ended with a minute of silence at the chapel dedicated to “Victims of Chernobyl”. On the way to the monument, in the park of Friendship of Peoples, police had installed turnstiles. The organizers claim that the local authorities had promised not to put police “cordons” on the way to the monument. People shouted “Shame!”
According to the Belarus National Statistics Committee, there are currently 2,371 settlements in the contaminated zone, including 28 towns and 2,343 rural settlements.
At the beginning of 2016, the number of Belarusians living in these settlements was 1,141,000 people (12% of the Belarus population).
According to the Belarus Forestry Ministry, the forest area contaminated with cesium-137, at the beginning of 2016 was 1,671.9 thousand hectares, or 17.6% of the total forest area of Belarus.