Exclusive Relations: special services and opposition

2005 2005-10-20T10:00:00+0300 1970-01-01T03:00:00+0300 en The Human Rights Center “Viasna” The Human Rights Center “Viasna”
The Human Rights Center “Viasna”

Close attention paid by KGB to oppositionists is not an exception but, the other way round, is a condition indispensable to the survival of the current regime in Belarus. As they cannot be eliminated, they have to be attached primary importance. So it happens that the special services have an exclusive attitude to the opposition.
The special services in Hrodna are becoming ever more conspicuous, reports Radio Liberty.
Earlier KGB in Hrodna was based in two-storied building, and now has another one nearby – a three-storied building that used to be a bank. The Hrodna residents concluded that this institution now has much more work to cope with.
Notably, after "restoring things back to normal" in the Union of Poles, several KGB chiefs (both in Hrodna and Minsk) were commended. The Union of Poles activists are also convinced: special services are working to counteract them. So, some oppositionists have reported cases of their telephone conversations being tapped. Once after they agreed on an unauthorized picket over the phone and came to the place agreed on, they found the police patrolling in the vicinity. Also, the location of the picket in defense of the Glos znad Niemna was kept secret by the journalists who made no mention of it over the phone. The activists, aware of surveillance, often switch off their mobile phones so that their location cannot be identified.
A KGB agent gave evidence as a computer expert in the trial over the Pahonia journalists Mikola Markievich and Paval Mazheika. Last year the same service searched the apartment of the current political prisoner Valiery Lievanieuski, then the KGB interrogated Lievanieuski's associate Aliaxandr Vasilieu.
Then an interesting thing happened: As they tried to find out where the fly sheets, which was why Lievanieuski and Vasilieu found themselves behind bars, were printed, KGB seized the equipment of the Dien newspaper with Markievich as the senior editor. A group of German journalists were staying in the city at the time, preparing a story on the violations of human rights and the freedom of the press. And as KGB agents were taking computers away from the office, they bumped into the German journalists who received the material they needed and even took photos for their periodicals.
That KGB takes an interest in the person of the united opposition candidate in the would-be presidential elections stands to reason. Andrei Kusialchuk, of the Milinkievich team, believes: "To ensure that security services are not a state within a state but remain accountable to law, we must control them through the community, through the media. If such information exists, the security services will not infringe the human rights".