Protect your people!


Milinkevich and “Malady Front” will create an organization dealing with protection of civil activists threatened with imprisonment.
More than 45 people were convicted according to the article “Acting on behalf of an unregistered organization” during the last six months. The opposition has decided to protect its members. A special committee first meeting of which is assigned for the evening of August 16 will deal with it. It is planned that the former common leader of the Belarusian opposition Alyaksandr Milinkevich will become its head. The former presidential candidate informed ERB that the new organization would be created to protect civil activists from the authorities:

“It is very important that we should slower and hamper the things the state is doing. We should not let it take 16-year-olds to court for participation in the civil life of the country. We will use our own forces and external pressure for it”.

Zmitser Hvedaruk, one of the leaders of the unregistered organization “Malady Front” says that the main motto of the new organization will be solidarity with young people interested in internal processes in Belarus:

“We would like to show that there should be solidarity not only with activists of “Malady Front” but with all people expressing their democratic views. If we cannot establish freedom in the full sense of the word we should start with something smaller – start protecting our members so that they wouldn’t be imprisoned”.

About a month ago there were a lot of actions of solidarity with four defendants who acted on behalf of an unregistered organization “Malady Front”. The court fined them. Alyaksandr Milinkevich considers it an example of real solidarity:

“What are the authorities afraid most? They are afraid of information and solidarity. That’s why we should provide as much information about the situation in our country as possible. There should be internal and external solidarity. During the latest trial of activist of “Malady Front” we turned to European organizations and to the press… The press helped us. We prevented the imprisonment of four activists of “Malady front” a month ago. We didn’t manage to do the same thing to help Dzmitry Dashkevich, so we have to fight!”

Time will show if the new organization is effective. Meanwhile, Ivan Shyla from Salihorsk, Yaraslau Hryshchenya from Baranavichy and Nasta Azarka from Nyasvizh are waiting for trials that will start at the beginning of September…

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