How Belarusians are made to join “Belaya Rus”
People can join the governmental civil organization in ideological department of their enterprises. However, you do not have to come there – lists of “persons interested” are sent by heads of enterprises. However, you will have to pay dues equal to 0.5% of your wage.
“Belaya Rus” has been registered by the Ministry of Justice today and it acquired a legal status. But people were forced to join it even when it was not registered. An employee of a Minsk enterprise who asked us not to reveal her name says that she was suggested something she had no way to refuse two weeks ago:
Employee of an enterprise: They told us it was on a voluntary basis but dropped hints about the necessity to join it because we worked for a state organization.
According to the founder of the organization, deputy of the Parliament Victar Huminski, Belarusians are eager to join “Belaya Rus”. ERB decided to find out how do they know where they need to turn to. Because legally there is no such a civil association at the moment.
It turned out that … ideological departments of city executive committees were getting members in the regions. An ERB journalist tried to become a member of “Belaya Rus”. But it turned out to be rather difficult. Representatives of enterprises are invited at meetings of regional organizations. Then the “engaged people” create primary cells. Everything is officially free-will. The chief specialist of the ideology department of Haradok District Executive Committee Natallya Lyashkevich described the scheme for ERB:
Natallya Lyashkevіch: There is a head in every organization. People give him their appeals. We have a great reserve. There are industrial and agricultural enterprises. I think people are willing to join.
Thus, people are added to “Belaya Rus” by default…
The head of Orsha affiliate of “Belaya Rus” Kanstantsin Nilau says the organization had 70 members even before the registration.
Kanstantsіn Nіlau: We are planning to have 200 members. It is for sure. The number was taken from organizations that turned to us. I do not demand much from them although the statute says that a primary cell should be composed of 3-5 people. We will have 15.
A deputy of the Parliament Victar Huminski told ERB that if it turned out that somebody was forcing people to join he or she would be punished for that.
Humіnskі: Directors have been strictly warned against it. If it happens a citizen may even send a complaint to the court.
Meanwhile, ERB has found out that every member of the organization must pay dues of at least 0.5% of their salary every month. Taking into account the average salary in out country (300 USD) it will make about 20 dollars per year.