Young Front Activist Threatened with Remand for Political Activity
Pavel Karaniukhin, student of the Olympic Reserve College in Pleshchanitsy said to RFE/RL that the college director and vice-director often called him for talks. They insistently proposed to him to abstain from participation in oppositional actions. Pavel often distributed fly-sheets and took part in a number of actions, organized by Young Front.
-- The vice-director on educational work clings to me and my friend all the time because of my political activity. I am a member of Young Front and my friend also has democratic views. We have often participated in oppositional actions. He thinks that we mustn’t study in the college and it would be dangerous to make us ski on the same field with president.
The vice-director Iury Tsikhan started working at the college a month ago. He explained the situation in the following way:
-- Everyone who studies here must be a patriot of his fatherland. Patriot is the one who loves his homeland and wants it to be world-known and won’t escape abroad if someone proposes to him more money there. The guy’s mind hasn’t formed yet, so it’s too early to make any conclusions about him. Who is he – a front guardian, patriot or simple Belarusian? First of all, it is necessary to discriminate who incited him that president is bad and he hates him. I have talked to him many times. He has no ideas yet. He is an immature material. That’s why it is necessary to work with him.
The Olympic Reserve College was founded in 1990 on the basis of the orphan asylum. 130 persons study there, 8 of them are masters of sports and 41 are candidates to masters. Every year some new students are accepted and those who fail to meet the sportive and educational demands are remanded. Iury Tsikhan assured the journalists that Pavel Karaniukhin wouldn’t be remanded for opposition-mindedness. In fact, the student’s fate will be decided at the nearest pedagogical council. Karaniukhin hopes the decision will be in his favor.