Lukashenka Attacks Because He is Afraid
Several foreign politicians and public activists expressed their criticism of the amendments to the Criminal Code of Belarus, which were adopted in the first reading on November 25 by the so-called "chamber of representatives". These amendments, in particular, provide for imprisonment of six months to two years for taking part in an organization deprived of state registration, and for providing a foreign state or international organization information about the political, economic, social, military or international position of the Republic of Belarus, which the court will believe to be untrue.
This is the opinion of Bogdan Klich, the chair of the European Parliament delegation for Belarusian affairs.
“I am not surprised at what happened. And that Belarus is an undemocratic dictator state Europe has known for long. Lukashenka's intention only convinces us that our opinion has been correct. From the Polish experience I can tell you that in such a situation the Belarusians themselves must act by massively and consistently violating such laws. This right must not be respected. Then the Belarusians will be able to make sure that their free speech is as important to them as it is for the free world", said Bogdan Klich to Radio Liberty.
Below is the opinion of Robert Hood, secretary general of the Swedish Helsinki Committee.
The situation in Belarus prior to the presidential elections is getting worse. We often talked and warned about that, and we were right. The international community must respond fast and appropriately. We must not sit idle, looking at what is happening. If today Lukashenka wants to forbid the Belarusians to criticize the authorities abroad, to want changes, maybe he will institute criminal proceedings against us, the foreign human rights activists talking about the human rights violations in Belarus? Where’s the limit to this absurdity? I believe that this is not the end of it.
The former minister of defense of Poland, a deputy of the Sejm Branislau Kamarouski compares the changes to the criminal code of Belarus with the Communist times:
In my opinion, for us, Poles, Belarusians and other peoples who lived under Communist, these proposals by Lukashenka do not contain anything new. The courts in the People’s Republic of Poland tried those who had distributed the information of Radio Free Europe. They had said, just like they now do in Belarus, that these changes discredited the authorities. This is pure totalitarianism when you cannot exchange thoughts, including exchange of opinions with the people of other countries, when you are not allowed to want changes. Lukashenka is proceeding further and further, because he is afraid. He is afraid, and so he is attacking, trying to intimidate the people of Belarus. However, I believe that he will not succeed in the Belarusians losing the desire to express themselves freely. The Belarusians will find a method of saying what is happening in their country. We must in turn react in at least the following way – block contacts not only with the regime’s officials, but also all official information coming from Belarus.
And this is what Tomash Bladyniets, the leader of the Polish Union for the Benefit of Democracy in Belarus, said to Radio Liberty.
Well, Lukashenka is afraid of losing power and is taking different hysterical steps to make sure the people are silent. The independent media have all but been eliminated, now they get down to the private opinion of the people. This again proves his weakness. If Lukashenka had real support and respect in the country, he would not have to take such steps.