Minsk deputies invite colleagues to assess post-election events
Deputy of the Minsk City Council Pavel Bocharnikov sent an appeal to the Chairman of the Minsk City Council Andrey Bugrov with a request to include issues related to the protests taking place after the elections in the agenda of the next session. The deputy asks to consider issues of releasing political prisoners, investigating violence, as well as the possibility of gathering for mass events on a declarative basis.
He writes that “since August 9, our city has become an arena of gross violations and trampling on the rights of citizens, brutal suppression of peaceful protest actions.”
“The authorities and administrations have withdrawn themselves from fulfilling their main function of representing and protecting the interests of the people. In order to preserve the interests of the minority, the authorities are trying to manipulate public consciousness, roughly substituting concepts and falsifying facts. The delay of the elected representatives of the people in a clear expression and determination of the civic position based on the request of the voters leads to discrediting the deputies and the entire constitutional institution of democracy,” — the appeal says.
Today he was joined by Deputy of the Minsk City Council Olga Tesakova who also sent an appeal to the Chairman of the Minsk City Council. In her appeal, she asked to invalidate the decision of the Minsk City Council, which approved the list of protest territories where “exemplary order” will be established.
The Minsk authorities will intensely control the territories that are “subject to the influence of destructive citizens.” They promise to send communal services, police, vigilantes and employees of the Regional Emergency Service more actively than before. They are also stepping up the activities of voluntary people’s guards. A list of several dozens of such territories was officially published last week.
Olga Tesakova is the youngest deputy of the Minsk City Council. After the elections, she condemned the violence and also decided to step down her position but this process has not yet been completed.
Actions in support of a doctor and a journalist recognized as prisoners of conscience continue in Minsk
The action of solidarity, which was held yesterday by the doctors of the Emergency Hospital, continued today. Physicians from other institutions, residents of residential areas, university students, workers of factories joined the action in support of the detained doctor of the Emergency Hospital Artyom Sorokin and the journalist of the information portal tut.by Katerina Borisevich. Yesterday, doctors lined up along the walls of the hospital, facing the wall and with their hands raised, in which they held sheets of paper with the inscription “0 ppm”. Today, the same actions were held all over Minsk.
Artyom Sorokin, an anesthesiologist at the Emergency Hospital, has been in jail since November 19. The Prosecutor General’s Office suspects the doctor of divulging medical confidentiality, allegedly he disseminated information that no alcohol was found in the blood of the murdered Roman Bondarenko who was taken to the Emergency Hospital from the police station. According to the prosecutors, this is false information. The journalist of tut.by Katerina Borisevich was detained in the same case. The international human rights organization Amnesty International recognized the doctor and journalist as prisoners of conscience.
Three Belarusian journalists were added to the list of political prisoners yesterday. Kateryna Borisevich, as well as Belsat journalists Yekaterina Andreeva and Darya Chultsova are political prisoners, according to a statement by Belarusian human rights activists published on the website of the unregistered human rights organization Viasna. Thus, 143 people have already been recognized as political prisoners in Belarus.
Human rights activists note that the girls were detained for carrying out their professional duties. They point out that the detention of the journalists is arbitrary and politically motivated and demand their immediate release from custody and an end to criminal prosecution.
Tut.by journalist Katerina Borisevich was detained on November 19 in connection with a criminal case on divulging medical confidentiality, which led to grave consequences, which was initiated by the General Prosecutor’s Office. In her article, Kateryna cited the words of a physician that Roman Bondarenko had no alcohol in his blood. The authorities stated the opposite.
The journalists of the Belsat TV channel Yekaterina Andreeva and Darya Chultsova became involved in a criminal case on organizing actions that grossly violate public order. The girls were detained on November 15 after a live broadcast from the Courtyard of Change, where the security forces violently dispersed the protest action.
Doctors at the Pediatric Oncology Center explained their decision to quit
In an open letter from employees of the Republican Scientific and Practical Center for Pediatric Oncology, doctors explain why they decided to write letters of resignation as a sign of disagreement with the fact that the clinic has changed the director. Earlier, 16 employees announced their resignation. The application for the dismissal of one of the employees has already been satisfied.
On November 23, a new director was introduced at the Pediatric Oncology Center. Part of the team wrote letters of resignation, linking the incident with the fact that the previous director didn’t take repressive measures against doctors because of their civil position. Earlier, the employees of the Center were detained several times at protests against violence.
“Today we have used all possible mechanisms to convey our position to the system, and the decision to dismiss is the only way to express our civic position,” the doctors write in their open letter. “For us, like all people with a heart, it is hard to work, realizing the ongoing violence in the country. We have repeatedly voiced our position on this matter in video messages and letters addressed to the Ministry of Health.”
The change in the center’s leadership and the appointment of a new director without experience in oncology was the last straw. The director of the center has never performed only an administrative role. This is primarily the main member of the diagnostic, scientific and treatment team, curator of treatment protocols and scientific projects. The director always had the last word at the consultations on the most difficult patients and was responsible for the decision.