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MP: Illegal crosses were removed to clean up before Easter

Ihar Marzalyuk / Euroradio archives

MP Ihar Marzalyuk who chairs the Commission on Education, Culture and Science at the House of Representatives told RTVI channel that the crosses around Kurapaty were removed as part of a cleanup before Easter. 

“Traditionally, we clean up the burial sites before Easter. That is why the territory will be put in order and a fence will be installed there,” he said. 

The tension in Kurapaty escalated on 4 April when the authorities dismantled 70 crosses at the so called people's memorial.

President Lukashenka's spokesperson Natallia Eismant made it clear that the workers acted in line with the decision of the president who had said during the 1 March 'Bag Talk with the President' that he did not like how the crosses around the mass execution site looked. 

Mr Marzalyuk supports the authorities’ actions. He says that the reports about the dismantling of crosses at the mass execution site were a blatant lie. “The area from which the crosses were removed is not the place where political repressions took place. People were executed by shooting deeper inside the forest. This is just a territory with the status of a cultural and historical value,” he noted. He called the installation of crosses around Kurapaty hooliganism and boorishness.

Those crosses ‘were nothing but political provocation,’ the MP said. He also admitted he was surprised to have learned that the crosses had remained there for a year. The crosses should have been dismantled much earlier, he stressed.