Homel Area Studies museum employee lost her job for public activity

2005 2005-05-17T10:00:00+0300 1970-01-01T03:00:00+0300 en The Human Rights Center “Viasna” The Human Rights Center “Viasna”
The Human Rights Center “Viasna”

Radio Liberty
Aliaxandr Alieinik, Director of the Homel Regional Area Studies Museum, signed the order for dismissing the activist of the social movement Razam! (Together!) and the museum employee Maria Bahdanovich. The activist believes that the dismissal is politically motivated.
According to the order, she will officially become jobless on 25 May. The following reason explaining the dismissal was provided by Alieh Razhkou, the director of the Area Studies museum. "She did not execute the instructions accurately. She was engrossed in public activity. She used to commit parts of her working day to her public work. And before she stopped doing that, she had received several admonitions".
Maria Bahdanovich herself believes her dismissal is politically motivated: "The political motivation of the dismissal is obvious. The employer did not keep it secret. When I came to the museum director, knowing that there would be a final order, his first question was: "Will you refuse from your activities?" I said: "No!" I do not think I am guilty. I am against agreeing with the authorities, because today my employer will request my agreement, tomorrow they will invite me to the city executive committee and say: fall in line, or you'll find no job anywhere".
Ms Bahdanovich said that she started having problems after the official demonstration in commemoration of the October revolution. Then a group of the city residents, including Ms Bahdanovich, took to streets with the slogan "Down with Despotism!", reported the Narodnaia Volia. On the day when the newspaper was issued, the deputy head of the culture department Lilia Bulanava phoned the museum.
(Bahdanovich: ) "She reminded me that I work in a state institution, where there is a state ideology. This was an official warning. Obviously, then they did not want to fire but scare me", adds Ms Bahdanovich.
Last year Maria Bahdanovich and the deputy of the town council Iuras Hlushakou, also a museum employee, requested permission for a rally against the rising housing payments, fee-based health service, and the obligatory employment of university graduates in Chernobyl-affected areas.
After the city executive committee first allowed and then banned the rally, Ms Bahdanovich and her associates took the ban to court. That's when the museum administration started to issue warnings and admonitions to Maria Bahdanovich and Deputy Hlushakou.