The other day, the KGB of Belarus announced a ” large-scale operation to clean up radical individuals.” It was stated by the deputy head of the investigative department of the KGB, Konstantin Bychek, on the Belarus-1 TV channel.
“During the operational search measures and investigative actions, the identities of the participants (Various Telegram chats – Ed.) have been established. Currently, a large operation is being carried out to clean up radical individuals,” the security officer said.
In practice, this means a new wave of repressions against civil and political activists of Belarus, another attempt to suppress freedom of speech and freedom of expression of their civil and political positions.
We have collected for you the most significant episodes of this illegal “sweep” over the past week:
- The author of the channel “Chestnok”, Alexander Ivulin, was charged on July 2, 2021, under Part 1 of Article 342 of the Criminal Code of the Republic of Belarus (Organization of group actions that grossly violate public order-Ed.) At the moment, Alexander has the status of a suspect and is in a pre-trial detention centre. The penalty under this article provides for imprisonment for up to 4 years. Earlier, the illegal criminal authorities have already subjected Alexander Ivulin to repression in the form of 30 days of arrest for the national flag of Belarus hung on the window. The case was considered by the judge of the Frunzensky district of Minsk Yulia Bliznyuk.
The house of Anastasia Zanko, a journalist of the Onliner portal, was searched. So far, we do not have any details.
- The administrator of the portal “Virtual Brest”, Andrey Kukharchik, also faced with the search. Another independent Brest publication, the “Brest Newspaper”, was affected.
- Employees of the Baranovichi edition of “Intex-press” could not get into the editorial office because of a KGB search.
- The administrator of the Facebook group “Letters of Solidarity”, Sergey Borisov, was detained in Minsk.
- Representatives of the KGB broke into the editorial office of the newspaper “Gantsavichy Hour”.
- In Luninets, the security forces visited another independent media, “Inform-walk”. In the same city, a search was conducted in the editorial office of the publication “Media-Polesie”.
- The security forces came home to the editor of the Orsha portal orsha.eu, Igor Kazmerchak, and the photographer of the website, Denis Dubkov. During the search, Igor’s phone and laptop were seized, and he was detained.
- “Nasha Niva” newspaper was closed by the Ministry of Information of Belarus. This decision was based on a notification from the Prosecutor General’s Office. The editorial staff did not get in touch, and the security forces searched houses of journalists. The editor-in-chief of the publication, Yegor Martinovich, is in prison, and doctors came to him there.
- In Glubokoe town, the policemen came to independent journalists Dmitry Lupach and Tatyana Smotkina.
- The search took place at the journalist from Bobruisk, Alesya Latinskaya, house.
- In Vitebsk, a search took place at the journalist of the Belsat TV channel, Dmitry Kazakevich. The policemen came to freelance journalists Vyacheslav Lazarev and Vitaly Skryl.
First of all, these criminals and their leaders are guided by fear. They understand that the days of the cannibalistic regime will finish soon.
Since August 2020, tens of thousands of people have been repressed in Belarus, and many people were killed. But such terrorism on the part of the occupiers could not extinguish the popular protest. They could not make people give up national symbols and colours, they could not make them think otherwise. As they say, “you will not be nice by force”.
A punishment system needs a lot of money. The usurper paid the security forces 600 rubles a day during the forceful suppression of the popular protest. All their “patriotism” is determined solely by the depth of the state purse. That is, our with you. When the treasury runs out of funds, the security forces will throw down their sticks and go to the east in a friendly column, where they will be gladly accepted for the anti-people military by another dictator.
On the air of the state BTRC channel, Foreign Minister Vladimir Makei hastily and thoughtlessly stated: “Any further tightening of sanctions will lead to the fact that civil society will cease to exist. And this, I believe, will be justified in this situation.”
It is clear why the security forces come to the editorial offices of independent newspapers and portals, why they smash non-profit public organizations – all this is done on the orders of an illegitimate government, for which civil society is the worst enemy. But it will not be possible to stifle the Belarusian protest – because if all the activists who care about the fate of Belarus are imprisoned and squeezed out of the country, the country will fall into ruins.
There can be only one conclusion from all these “loud” statements: all these “scares” are the last thing they can do. We should not accept this as the truth. We must continue to move forward, continue our common struggle every day, every hour, every second. The dictatorship is collapsing, being washed away from all sides, riot police and the KGB cannot save it anymore.
ICCI “Our House” will provide support and assistance to anyone who will suffer from the repressions of the dying regime. Don’t be afraid of anything, our dear readers! There are more of us, and truth and justice are behind us, which means that we are stronger!