Two new publications in English. “The Russian government, like any authoritarian regime, can not exist without the image of the enemy, external or internal. But people since Soviet times have got used to an eternal “threat of the West” and its spies. Therefore, the society is increasingly being pushed onto the needle of brutal massacre of ” public enemy forces”. For this purpose, the topic of extremism is actively promoted and new “enemies” are being stamped out.”
Several people were charged with illegal usage of forest resources and distribution of extremist materials after GUBOPiK (Main Directorate for Combating Organized Crime and Corruption, – a branch of Ministry of Internal Affairs, which executes the functions of political police in Belarus) supported by special task forces attacked an informal anarchist meeting. According to the ABC-Belarus reports, there were around 20 participants at the camping site. Below you can read the first-person evidence of one of the participants of the camp.
From Belarus Digest, March 20th, 2018 (MSM)
On 12 March 2018, a Minsk court sentenced Sviataslau Baranovich to three years in prison. He admitted that he had hit police officers in civilian clothes during the brutal arrests of anarchists.
In recent years, the anarchists have become the most persecuted group opposing Alexander Lukashenka’s regime. They remain the most extreme organisation with a capacity to organise street protests and radicalise them.
Over a year ago our website and group in vk.com (the most popular social media site in post-USSR countries) were blocked by decision of court, considering information on the website to be extremist. Several weeks ago new round of attack from Ministry of information came. The new group, created after the blocking, was blocked also. At that moment it had around 1450 subscribers.
The past year was quite eventful in the political life of Belarus, the most important event being the Spring protest of the Belarusians against the current government and its anti-social policies. And although the protest was brutally dispersed and the most unprecedented repressions were launched since 2011, it cannot be considered an unequivocal defeat if only because the so-called ‘social parasite law’ was suspended and revised.
We are social activists and friends of Dmitry Polienko and we are starting a New Year campaign of solidarity with the Belarusian prisoner of conscience! Please send a postcard with some words of support to Dmitry!
You can also post a photo of your postcard on social media and use the hashtag: #Free_Polienko
11th of October city court of Baranovichi, Belarus sentenced Russian anarchist Pyotr Ryabov. Anarchist philosopher, lecturer of department of Philosophy in Moscow State Pedagogical University was sentenced to 6 days of prison for "small hooliganism" and "distribution of extremist materials (statute 17.1 and 17.11 of codex of misdemeanors of Belarus). Court considered Belarusian anarchist journal "Svoboda ili Smert №6", published in 2007, as extremist material.
On October 10, Pyotr Ryabov was taken off the train after he had delivered a lecture in the Belarusian city of Baranavichy.
A day later, a Baranovichi court found Ryabov guilty of hooliganism and sentenced him to 6 days in prison.
Ryabov and one of his associates were charged with hooliganism. “He was accused of swearing and refusal to obey to the police requirements,” his friend says.
We were covering the situation in Belarus in March this year during the big protests that were happening here against the policy of the state that was forcing people to pay a fine for being unemployed for longer than six months in a year. For now the protests are over, however pressure from the government on those who were participating in the events of last spring didn’t stop.