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December 3rd, 2006. Posted in Author's articles

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Criminal case №0406520036. Political prisoners in Belarus

Historical experience. The analysis of the reasons of dictatorship, reprisals of the authorities. Strategy and tactics of the future incorporated opposition in Belarus. (Theme continuation…)

Valery Levaneuski has prepared a number of analytical articles in which it expresses the personal opinion on many questions, concerning histories of development of dictatorship in Belarus, preconditions of its occurrence. In these articles answers to different questions are given, including, whether the incorporated opposition in Belarus that it is necessary to do in the near future and in the long-term future for democracy construction in Belarus is necessary.

Earlier we have considered themes: «authoritarianism History in modern Belarus», «Lukashenka’s Party. Tactical errors of opposition. The Belarus inquisition)»

Today we suggest familiarizing with continuation of this theme.

We invite everybody to discussion and expression of the opinions on the given questions. We publish some endurance from articles devoted to this theme.

3. Criminal case №0406520036

Criminal case №0406520036 typical for modern Belarus is raised in the relation me, as chairman of National Strike Committee of Belarus and my assistant Alexander Vasilev under item 368 ч.2 of Criminal Code of Belarus (“the Public insult of the President of Belarus, connected to charge in fulfillment heavy or especially grave crime”).

I have been arrested on May, 1st, 2004 9.40 minutes at an exit from the house by forces of special troops and employees of public safety.

This day there was a traditional May holiday, we have urged the supporters to come on Lenin’s area of Grodno and to tell that they think of this power and personally about A.Lukashenka. We have organized distribution of corresponding leaflets.

As result, more than 4 thousand persons on May, 1st, 2004 at 10.40 left on the area with posters and requirements of resignation of the working president of Belarus A.Lukashenka. For the authorities it was a shock since the huge repressive machine has given failure. People, having overcome fear, have left on street. And it is in spite of the fact that I was already at this time in handcuffs in regional police station. It was necessary for authorities to undertake something. Also it was accepted to isolate me. In Leninski District Internal Affairs Department have caused the judge and me have sentenced to 15 days of administrative arrest «for the organization of not authorized meeting on May, 1st, 2004 at 10.40 on Lenin’s square in Grodno». For legal aid rendering in court the judge has given up to me in a call of the lawyer with motivation «All lawyers are occupied». I have placed to serve time in спецприемник October Leninski District Internal Affairs Department.

But it it has appeared to the authorities insufficiently.

On May, 5th, 2004 by KGB Management on the Grodno area on request of the Grodno regional Office of Public Prosecutor had been raised criminal case on p.1 item 368 of Criminal Code of Belarus (the insult of the President of Belarus). While I sat «a few days ago» the considerable quantity of searches at my offices, houses, in apartments at relatives has been spent.

Accusation has been brought to 13.05.2004 me and the preventive punishment – imprisonment is selected. So 15.05.2004 of pre-trial prison October District Internal Affairs Department of Grodno have translated me in pre-trial prison (temporary detention facility) and then 18.05.2004 in prison №1 of Grodno.

On September, 7th, 2004 the court of Lenin area of Grodno has sentenced me and Alexander Vasilev to two years of imprisonment, with punishment serving in a colony of the general mode. In a sentence it is underlined, that in a phrase «Come and tell, that you against that at your expense someone went to Austria to have a rest, ski, live happily», printed in a leaflet, the insult of honor and Alexander Lukashenka’s advantage contains. Alexander Vasilev has been detained directly in a court hall.

The court was more similar to a farce. The judge rejected without an explanation of the reasons all my petitions and the lawyer, connected with observance of my rights and a legal procedure. My petitions for a call of witnesses, recognition of the President of Belarus by victim on case, about a call and interrogation of experts, experts, about carrying out of examinations have been rejected.

The court has not satisfied even my petition for table granting to conduct records during judicial session. The judge and the public prosecutor till the end of litigation refused to explain to me of what they particularly accuse me. Neither I, nor the lawyer, from the moment of the conclusion me under guards, throughout 4 months could not achieve from a consequence of explanations concerning charges in my address. And only at sentence announcement it became known, that me sentence to two years of imprisonment for a phrase in a leaflet «Come and tell, that you against that at your expense someone went to Austria to have a rest, ski, live happily».

From a court sentence:… Levaneuski Valery Stanislavovich, in common in with Vasilev Alexander Aleksandrovich, giving out itself for heads National Strike Committee of Belarus, since January, 2004 to be engaged began deliberately the vigorous activity on destabilization of a political situation in Grodno, spending active work among businessmen on the organization and carrying out on May, 01st, 2004 in of Grodno of the not authorized meeting of businessmen for which have called in constantly extended to territories of the Grodno area bulletins “Entrepreneur” and leaflets.

In April, 2004, they in common, have prepared again a leaflet with an appeal “Come! On May, 1st is your day! We wait for all of you on May, 1st, 2004 at 10.30 on Lenin’s Area in mountains. Grodno”, having placed on a face sheet of the given leaflet the text, and on the back – a poem “The Account on utilities , received from the unstated person by name of Nicolay, and edited by them in common which maintenance correlates a described situation in the poem text, with the concrete official – the President of Belarus and has obviously offensive character expressed in humiliation of honor and advantage of the President of Belarus, connected to charge in fulfillment ostensibly grave crime, abusing the power of the official, occupying the responsible position which has entailed causing of essential harm to the rights and legitimate interests of citizens, expressed in illegal use of public funds…

… Estimating the proofs presented to court in their sets, court believes, that guilt of the accused is proved also actions accused Levaneuski and Vasilev. Qualifies under item 368 p.2 of Criminal Code of Belarus as the public insult of the President of Belarus, connected to charge in grave crime fulfillment. The court, also qualifies the accused Vasilev’s actions under item 342 of Criminal Code of Belarus, as the organization of the group actions roughly breaking a public order and interfaced to obvious disobedience to legal requirements of representatives of the power, entailed infringement of work of transport, the enterprises, establishments and the organizations and active participation in such actions in the absence of signs more grave crime.

Qualifying signs of the specified crimes have found the acknowledgement during proceeding. So by court it is established, that in the leaflet text it is specified, that “President”, ostensibly, abusing the position, uses to suit the own ends money of tax bearers which are compelled to live in misery. The given statement is available in a leaflet in the appeal text to come on meeting on May, 1st, 2004 «Come and tell, that you against that at your expense “SOMEONE” went to Austria to have a rest, ski, and live happily! ». The given appeal, according to court, specifies that composers of a leaflet deliberately under a word “SOMEONE” mean the President of Belarus and specify that he abuses the office position and at the expense of tax bearers goes on rest… »

The court also has decided to apply special confiscation concerning my property in favor of the state.

From criminal case it is visible, that it has obviously political coloring, and we with Vasiliev been condemned not for the insult of the President of Belarus, and that have dared to demand publicly A.Lukashenka’s resignation. Such prison fate waits for everyone who will doubt correctness of a spent policy of the operating power in Belarus. Of it could be convinced already many, including, and the former candidate for Presidents of Belarus of A.Kozulin which is condemned now on long imprisonment to formal and far-fetched signs.

4. Political prisoners in Belarus

The conclusion on political grounds in Belarus –is natural process. One of conditions of existence of any dictatorship –is rigid suppression of heterodoxy.

In Belarus much more, than it is considered to be political prisoners. I would expand this category to frameworks illegally condemned. Being in imprisonment places, I was convinced, that many people in “zone” are condemned without proofs, on internal belief of court. It too the merit of the present power when easier the person to hide in prison than to think how to provide with its normal work, habitation, formation. Besides, it is convenient to redistribute the property by means of a court sentence. The system of penalties and the financial control is put in such a manner that any enterprise, any businessman can be ruined penalties and to bring its economic activities under penal article. So it has turned out and with entrepreneur Avtuhovich who in Volcovysk has organized the firm, but has not adjusted “partner” relations with someone from they, who have a power. As a result it has received imprisonment term. It is a lot of such examples.

Today in Belarus it is possible to put in prison any person, it is without dependence guilty in something or not. There is no mechanism of protection against a consequence and court arbitrariness in Belarus. It is possible to speak today about thousand people in our country, sitting on political grounds because they to some extent protested against a policy of the state or became hostages of a mode of A.Lukashenka.

Considerable quantity of people in Belarus has suffered from political reprisals. Thousand people in Belarus are subjected arrests, penalties, work have lost or have been compelled to leave the native land on political grounds.

Fear relative public passivity of entrepreneurs since for contacts to opposition it is possible to remain without the business speaks also and to get into prison by results of extraordinary check of economic activities. The fear has impregnated all social classes, people are afraid for the future, for the future of children and the country. Byelorussians do not have today prospect. They survive today.

Certainly, there are in opposition outstanding personalities who are a nation genofund. They leave various terms of punishment that were not afraid openly to act with political requirements. Their prosecution is the most severe and unfair. Prosecutions extend on the family of the political prisoner. The main objective of such prosecutions – to deprive of means of subsistence all family of the political prisoner, to humiliate and “crush” them. I have tested it on own experience.

40 days starving already in colony A.Kazulin has been sentenced to a long imprisonment term that not only has shown the discontent with the present President of Belarus, but could come really to the power. So or will be even worse with any who will dare to repeat its attempt democratic by to come to the power. But daredevils are and will be. The main thing is to help them and to aspire to unite their efforts.

I will result a line from A.Kazulin’s letter in my address:

«Hello, Valery Stanislavovich!

Excuse, that long did not write – your letters reached and reach with decent delay, therefore to make comments on fresh traces it did not turn out in any way, and thought, that August – month of holidays natural to all. One week ago, thanks to your persistence, the criminally remedial code for correctional facilities all the same has reached….

… To you – many thanks, that me do not forget and try to solve necessary questions…

As you understand, all my actions and acts carried, and will have intelligent character; I will struggle up to the end, to break me it is not be possible though physically to destroy different ways and methods they will try. Therefore keep in mind, that all problems which will arise at me with health, and unexpected aspects already take place, they are inspired by the power. It is so, on an extreme case. To prison I was absolutely healthy.

As well as you, I am not going to sit fold one’s hands, and to indulge in vain hopes. Force not in words, and in actions, readiness to go up to the end for the sake of the country and the people would be time to our all zealous fighters to understand from opposition, that. Results, though small, but results are necessary. Force is not in a sound, and force is in the spirit.

For Lukashenka time is now important…
Therefore Levcovich the rights when says that it is necessary to struggle not with Moscow, and in it to search for the ally in struggle against the dictator. Also it is not necessary to be covered with possible loss of the sovereignty it it is not so possible. And it is necessary to understand; that we have worthlessly lost granted to us the God freedom for which it is necessary to struggle. And we, as herd of rams, obediently go on “zaklyanye” if only still to attempt grasses. We live in the created Lukashenko the falseness and lie state, and all our human relations become and became hypocritical, false, and insincere. Look back, you will see, that to be successful in sew to the country (in public understanding of this word) it is necessary to lose or crush the conscience, and with loss of conscience we lose the God inside. We become a society of moral ugly creatures, moral invalids…?!

And it is encouraged, welcomed, put down to credit as achievement. For it is receive awards, posts etc. Where we slide? Really we do not wish to reflect at least, we pawn what dreadful future the hands in the present that waits for our children and grandsons…

… Lukashenka is now weak, as never it has lost a support and feverishly searches, on what to lean. It is ready to rush in embraces to everybody (differences any are not present since is not present in any principles) if only to keep the personal power. Therefore so the consolidated actions of all healthy forces of the Belarus society, opposition concerning September, 19th as last legitimate day of president Lukashenka are important. Therefore, so it is important to spend the congress of democratic forces where to create the Government of national trust together with Supreme council of 13 convocations, together with Rada of BNR…

… It is important not to waste time and from a position eternally defending to pass in an offensive position …. »

It is difficult to disagree with this position of the courageous person, the professor, the statesman.

Recently the youth is exposed to political reprisals. This extraordinary interesting phenomenon as the present youth of Belarus has grown already without influence of communistic ideology and out of Soviet Union. They are interested in a policy, are actively ready to defend the point of view. This youth appears in unequal conditions with the contemporaries because them not only pursue penalties, administrative arrests and criminal cases, but also deprive of possibility to study and work in the country, is artificial doing by their derelicts of a society, officially, from screens of the TV of the power name their “morons” and other offensive words.

It is convinced, that oppositions should be paid special attention on these young men, after all they will shortly operate the country. Creation for them is favorable conditions in study and development – a long-term and perspective direction.

If not to render joint counteraction to in agony dictatorship soon many of opposition will continue the internal disputes behind a barbed wire and only then will understand what to agree better now.

Leaders of parties, journalists, entrepreneurs, the former deputies, diplomats, public figures, pensioners have passed through the Belarus prisons and arrests, only that have dared to doubt the politician of a present supervising top. It is only the beginning. The appetite comes during a meal. The mechanism is debugged, but not started yet in those scales which were assumed by the power.

Huge role in restraint of mass reprisals concerning progressive Byelorussians our countries neighbors play, the European countries, the USA. Today it is the unique operating deterrent of a flywheel of political reprisals in Belarus. Many of those who now at the power in Europe have gone through fascism remember history and do not want, that it on the earth has repeated. In particular, about it the ambassador of Federal Republic Germany in Belarus Martin Hekker wrote to me to a colony. If not the hard line of these people in relation to infringement of human rights in Belarus, to A.Lukashenka’s mode, in prisons has appeared today all opposition and citizens sympathizing it with their families.

Valery Levaneuski

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Note: Translated by means of machine translation. The original text in Russian is on a site or