Milinkevich to Sue Belarusian Television

2006 2006-10-26T10:00:00+0300 1970-01-01T03:00:00+0300 en The Human Rights Center “Viasna” The Human Rights Center “Viasna”
The Human Rights Center “Viasna”

Today, on October 26 Alexander Milinkevich will file a suit against the First National Channel of the Belarusian Television (BT) for insult, reports RFE/RL.

According to Milinkevich, on August 13 and 27, and on September 6 the “In the Focus of Attention” show discredited him and his family. The host of the show said that the elder son of the former presidential candidate was allegedly buying houses in their home village for the “Western money” in order to be able to carry out “opposition gatherings” there.

Milinkevich’s elder son Alexander, 30, really bought two abandoned houses in Bershty village. One of the houses, once they finish thatching the roof, will locate an ethnographic museum. The Milinkevichs, together with teachers and students of Bershty secondary school, have gathered over 200 showpieces. Milinkevich Senior says:

-- If I had money, I would bring abandoned old houses from the woods and boweries. The wooden houses are still in great condition. I would bring them here and make a tourist village in Bershty. This would keep Bershty alive. Together with my son we are dreaming of reviving pottery, smithcraft, and handweaving, because there are still old people who have the skills.

Alexander Budzko, 30, gathered about 200 signatures for Milinkevich during the last presidential campaign in the village of 400 residents. He points out:

-- The BT did not show the old abandoned houses which Milinkevich’s son bought in order to rebuild and restore them. They showed only Milinkevich’s house which looks really nice. From the whole village they found three people who don’t like him. The first is Bartashuk, the former director of the collective farm. Later he was fired and the director’s post was given to Khvasko, which ruined the farm completely. The only thing that remained was a power-saw bench. And the old woman, whose house Milinkevich wanted to buy, because it stands near the lake. However, they didn’t interview anybody, who likes Milinkevich! Right after they broadcasted the show, the local authorities arrived to the village –chief architect, people from the sanitation center, etc. they were instructed to find anything to pick on. So, they said he couldn’t build sewerage system near the house and imposed a fine on him…