A Theater of Abuses in Post-Election Belarus

Since Sunday’s controversial presidential election in the ex-Soviet republic of Belarus, where incumbent Alyaksandr Lukashenka pronounced himself the winner, a wave of human rights violations has been hitting opposition voices in the country (like it wasn’t bad enough in the first place). Among the silenced are Nikolai Khalezin and Natalia Kolyada, the founding couple of Belarus Free Theater who – according to The New York Times – “are now in hiding” after the arrest of their colleagues.

When my colleague phoned the Embassy of Belarus in Washington D.C. for a response on the Times report, she was told that the Embassy doesn’t comment on foreign newspaper content.

Here are other questions that the Belarus government doesn’t want to be asked:

- Why have seven of the nine opposition presidential candidates  been detained along with as many as 500 peaceful demonstrators, opposition activists, human rights defenders and journalists, many of whom were beaten by riot police?

- Why was there no autopsy to investigate the allegedly suicidal death of Aleh Byabebin, founder of the unofficial news website Charter’97, who had just joined the campaign team of presidential candidate Andrei Sannikov (Sannikau)?

- And why are candidate Sannikau’s legs broken and why is he not receiving medical care in detention?

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2 thoughts on “A Theater of Abuses in Post-Election Belarus

  1. Dear Mr Maghakyan,

    i am thoroughly DISGUSTED by your report.

    It UTTERLY undermines your credibility in my eyes, & the credibility of Amnesty, whose reports i usually concur with.

    You talk directly … without any qualificatory phrasing at all … of Belarus' "controversial election".

    Hundreds of international observers watched the election …. & found no irregularities.

    Germany's Alexander Rahr & most other proWestern analysts agree Lukashenko won 80 % of the votes.

    Exit polls showed similar results.

    You blare about "A Theater of Abuses" … "a wave of human rights violations" …. "peaceful demostrators".

    These "peaceful" guys began their rally in Minsk peacefully enough, attracting a moderate police presence… much less than would be the case in London or Moscow.

    & then … they stormed the building where the votes were counted … smashing windows … breaking doors … in what seems like a bid to destroy the ballots & invalidate the election !!

    Of course this rioting brought the riot police.

    Even the opposition Communists supported sending the riot police.

    Of course the rioters were detained.

    Without casualties.

    The Western reporters immediately distorted the thing into a picture of "bloodshed" & repression.

    **********

    But you didn't report the vital truths about the opposition.

    That they've no mass, popular recognition or presence among the people.

    That they are corrupt entities.

    That they are maintained by subsidies & grants & smuggled money in a deluge of dough from the US State Department, the NED, George Soros, & the CIA.

    No conspiracy theory, this.

    Lithuania has arrested a money smuggler working for a USAID contractor who confessed to bringing $ 50, 000 into Belarus ….. before she was nabbed.

    **********

    You say the situation in Belarus is "bad enough".

    Why ?

    Because it doesn't resemble your "American Dream" where Wall St. & a corrupt Congress are destroying the middle class, driving millions into homelessness … unemployment ….. bankruptcy … health insurance abuse … outright theft of Social Security …. unchecked racism …. ?

    Tiny Belarus has kept out your big thieving international corporations .

    Belarus has kept her socialist system… yes, SOCIALISM, THAT'S RIGHT, AMERICANS !!!

    Belarus has avoided privatization & the IMF that have made beggars of her European neighbors.

    Belarus produces all its core needs …….. from inexpensive foods to tractors to TV sets to lorries to designer fashions….

    Belarus has FULL EMPLOYMENT FOR EVERYBODY.

    Her old people have secure pensions.

    She is NOT a police state…. the police are hardly present in her city streets … & the police are free of corruption … they actually don't take bribes !!!!

    Crime & gangsterism have been rooted out.

    Belarusian citizens enjoy safety & security in homes which have HEAVILY SUBSIDIZED heating & rent.

    Clean cities with well organized transport.

    The people don't earn huge salaries …. but they earn enough for their needs.

    & they don't have super rich people… there's no such class.

    Nor any political party …… at all !!!!!!

    No political monopoly of any kind, either.

    Do you wonder, then, that they voted RESOUNDINGLY for this way of life they are quite happy & satisfied with ?

  2. Dear Mr Maghakyan,

    i am thoroughly DISGUSTED by your report.

    It UTTERLY undermines your credibility in my eyes, & the credibility of Amnesty, whose reports i usually concur with.

    You talk directly … without any qualificatory phrasing at all … of Belarus’ “controversial election”.

    Hundreds of international observers watched the election …. & found no irregularities.

    Germany’s Alexander Rahr & most other proWestern analysts agree Lukashenko won 80 % of the votes.

    Exit polls showed similar results.

    You blare about “A Theater of Abuses” … “a wave of human rights violations” …. “peaceful demostrators”.

    These “peaceful” guys began their rally in Minsk peacefully enough, attracting a moderate police presence… much less than would be the case in London or Moscow.

    & then … they stormed the building where the votes were counted … smashing windows … breaking doors … in what seems like a bid to destroy the ballots & invalidate the election !!

    Of course this rioting brought the riot police.

    Even the opposition Communists supported sending the riot police.

    Of course the rioters were detained.

    Without casualties.

    The Western reporters immediately distorted the thing into a picture of “bloodshed” & repression.

    **********

    But you didn’t report the vital truths about the opposition.

    That they’ve no mass, popular recognition or presence among the people.

    That they are corrupt entities.

    That they are maintained by subsidies & grants & smuggled money in a deluge of dough from the US State Department, the NED, George Soros, & the CIA.

    No conspiracy theory, this.

    Lithuania has arrested a money smuggler working for a USAID contractor who confessed to bringing $ 50, 000 into Belarus ….. before she was nabbed.

    **********

    You say the situation in Belarus is “bad enough”.

    Why ?

    Because it doesn’t resemble your “American Dream” where Wall St. & a corrupt Congress are destroying the middle class, driving millions into homelessness … unemployment ….. bankruptcy … health insurance abuse … outright theft of Social Security …. unchecked racism …. ?

    Tiny Belarus has kept out your big thieving international corporations .

    Belarus has kept her socialist system… yes, SOCIALISM, THAT’S RIGHT, AMERICANS !!!

    Belarus has avoided privatization & the IMF that have made beggars of her European neighbors.

    Belarus produces all its core needs …….. from inexpensive foods to tractors to TV sets to lorries to designer fashions….

    Belarus has FULL EMPLOYMENT FOR EVERYBODY.

    Her old people have secure pensions.

    She is NOT a police state…. the police are hardly present in her city streets … & the police are free of corruption … they actually don’t take bribes !!!!

    Crime & gangsterism have been rooted out.

    Belarusian citizens enjoy safety & security in homes which have HEAVILY SUBSIDIZED heating & rent.

    Clean cities with well organized transport.

    The people don’t earn huge salaries …. but they earn enough for their needs.

    & they don’t have super rich people… there’s no such class.

    Nor any political party …… at all !!!!!!

    No political monopoly of any kind, either.

    Do you wonder, then, that they voted RESOUNDINGLY for this way of life they are quite happy & satisfied with ?