Soldiers will be punished for membership in political parties?

2009 2009-10-08T21:18:18+0300 1970-01-01T03:00:00+0300 en The Human Rights Center “Viasna” The Human Rights Center “Viasna”
The Human Rights Center “Viasna”

Conscript soldiers must suspend membership in political parties from the moment of conscription till the end of the service in the Armed Forces of Belarus, stated the defense minister Leanid Maltsau.

‘No doubt, one in active military service must suspend his activities in political parties since the moment of call-up and till the end of the service. For continuing political activities a solider will be brought to responsibility under the laws of Belarus,’ he pointed in his speech at the session of the Chamber of Representatives of the National Assembly of Belarus with a report on the draft law On serviceman’s status and he spoke out on the offered norms. The draft was upheld by the deputies of the lower chamber in the first reading.

The minister explained to journalists that membership in a political party during a military service was stipulated by Belarusian laws before as well. However, since 1992 there were no changes in the law On serviceman’s status which would correspond the current reality.

Answering the question about a few activists of oppositional parties who are currently serving in Belarusian army, Maltsau answered that political activities of those soldiers should be suspended under the law.

Besides, the changes in the law include some restrictions for freedom of travel during the military service, which is necessary for the national security. The new law also stipulates a suspension of studies of one in active military service in civil universities for the period of the military service.

‘A soldier should at least take a year out in the university from the moment of conscription’, Maltsau said. The minister stressed that restrictions of some rights and freedoms would be compensated by a number of benefits for those in active military service.

The minister noted that insurance compensations should be made for soldiers in the same measure as for policemen, workers of the state control and emergency ministry.

Maltsau reminded that the Belarusian law prohibits participation of those in active military service in strikes as a way of solving problems of military service, and participation in any organizations, including public organizations which have any political aims.