Minsk: teachers are forced to collect signatures for Lukashenka

2010 2010-10-05T21:44:36+0300 1970-01-01T03:00:00+0300 en http://spring96.org/files/images/sources/pedagog.jpg The Human Rights Center “Viasna” The Human Rights Center “Viasna”
The Human Rights Center “Viasna”

The teachers and kindergarteners of the Kastrychnitski District of Minsk are forced to collect signatures in support of the candidacy of the present head of the state.

For example, the teachers of secondary school #71 were ordered to collect a certain number of signatures in support of Lukashenka from parents of their pupils. The administration of kindergarten #241 issued the kindergarteners the signatures lists that should be signed by the parents who come to bring their children to the kindergarten. Some parents indignantly refuse to do it, while others put their signatures only because of respect or compassion for the teachers and kindergarteners, telling they will by no means vote for Lukashenka.

There are many cases in Minsk when teachers are forced to stand in street pickets to collect signatures for Aliaksandr Lukashenka. Meanwhile, the pickets bring little results – passers-by approach the participants of such people not to put their signatures in favor of the dictator, but to reproach and shame the collectors. Sometimes the people even behave aggressively, as a result of which teachers refuse to participate in the electoral pickets.

For example, observers witnessed a case when two teachers were arguing with the schoolmaster, on whose order they had to stand outdoors in the cold all weekend to collect the signatures. ‘We haven’t seen such a shame and humiliation for all our life! The people who know us, dwellers of our native district come up and swear at us! How many insults have we heard already!,’ complained the teachers. One of them even stated: ‘It’s better to come out to the street drunk or nude rather than disgrace oneself by collecting signatures for him! You won’t drive us to do it any more!’
One of the participants picket Symbols for Lukashenko in Malinovka the words of passers-by what President Alexander Lukashenko and tired of all long time for him to leave, said: "I agree with you 200 percent, but we are not able to collect signatures - we were forced to."

When passers-by told a participant of the picket of the Belarusian Republican Youth Union that Aliaksandr Lukashenka bored everyone and it was high time for him to resign, she answered: ‘I agree with you 200%, but we don’t collect these signatures on our free will, we are forced to do it’.

The state officials who are made to collect signatures, are often dissatisfied or yawn indifferently while saying:’ Who wants to sign for prosperous Belarus?’. Sometimes, they put electoral pickets against strange backgrounds, such as the movie posters Resident Evil or It’s You Again.

Human Rights Defenders for Free Elections