Chronicles January-June 2018: Part 4
This is the fourth part of the report on repressions against socially and politically active women in Belarus during the first half of 2018 (See Reports for the first three parts). In this report we provide an account of economic pressure that women activists had endure for disagreement with the state policy on the treatment of the Belarus’s language, commemoration of the memory of the victims of Kurapaty executed during the Great Purge in Belarus, and the remembering of the Chernobyl disaster and of its impact on Belarus. This economic pressure, if not abuse, manifests itself in multiple and disproportionate to the “offences” fines.
We provide an estimate of the fines in ‘basic unites’ (B.U.), a measurement that is used in Belarus to calculate fines, benefits, minimum wages, etc., and in its approximate equivalent in Euros at the reported time.
On the 12th of March 2018 Anastasia, an activist of the Young Front was fined 15 B.U., or an equivalent to 158 Euros for collecting signatures in support of the Belarusian. She was charged with violation of the laws on conducting mass events.
Anna Paholko is the leader of the Youth of the Belarusian Popular Front and former journalism student in regard to allegedly politically motivated expulsion from the university. On the 21st of February, 2018 she was fined 15 B.U., or an equivalent to 158 Euros for collecting signatures in support of the Belarusian language on the occasion of the Mother Language Day in subway. Anna was not informed/ summoned to the court room to be present during the hearing on her case.
Olga, an activist of “Our House”, was fined 35 B.U., or an equivalent to 368 Euros, for collecting signatures in support of the Belarusian language on the 29th of March, 2018.
On the 21st of May, 2018 Maya Naumova was fined 35 B.U., or an equivalent to 368 Euros for picketing in support of the political prisoners during the Chernobyl Way rally.
On the 22nd of May, 2018 Natalia Goryachko-Basalyga was fined 50 B.U., or an equivalent to 525 Euros for picketing in support of the political prisoners during the Chernobyl Way rally. Natalia was not present at the court hearing as she was not informed about it.
On the 23rd of May, 2018 Galina Logatskaya was fined 25 B.U., or an equivalent to 263 Euros for picketing in support of the political prisoners during the Chernobyl Way rally.
On the 24th of May 2018 Victoria Biran, LGBTQI activist, took three selfies of herself with a self-made poster in front of the buildings of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, the KGB (Committee for State Security) and the Belarusian parliament to protest against a homophobic statement and hate speech made by the Minister of the Internal Affairs, Igor Shunevich. Victoria posted these selfies on her Facebook page. This was qualified as a picket; three court cases were brought to court against her for, effectively, the same act (one per each photo because these three buildings are located in the territorial jurisdiction of three different courts). Two hearings ended in fines equivalent to 312 Euros (30 B.U). Victoria also was lectured by the police officers on the values of the traditional families and heterosexuality when was summoned to the police on the case.
Nadezhda Krapivina, Olga Romashko
In support of Victoria Biran Nadezhda Krapivina and Olga Romashko, students of the Fortinbras Theatre Laboratory, staged a performance on the 28th of June, 2018 opposite the building of the Ministry of Internal Affairs. They created an LGBTQI flowerbed – in colours of the rainbow flag. Both were detained and later fined 6 B.U. – 3 B.U. each – or an equivalent to 63 Euros.