Minsk: lecturers are ‘advised’ to politely herd students to early voting

2010 2010-12-07T16:03:48+0200 1970-01-01T03:00:00+0300 en http://spring96.org/files/images/sources/studentyaudytoryja.jpg The Human Rights Center “Viasna” The Human Rights Center “Viasna”
The Human Rights Center “Viasna”

The preparation to the forced early voting is at its height in the Minsk universities. For instance, the lecturers of some faculties of Belarusian State University were told to ‘politely ask’ their students to come to lectures with passports (that are necessary for early voting).

According to the lecturers, the first ‘training’ was conducted at the faculty of journalism. The lecturers were advised not to use open forcing an intimidation, but politely convince the students to cast their votes early, because the students of this faculty are ‘very clever children’. The students, in their turn, say that the lecturers haven’t said anything about the upcoming election so far…

We also received information about the preparation to early voting at the University of Culture. According to one of its lecturers, the lists of students were prepared before 6 December and the voting could start almost simultaneously with the All-Belarusian Assembly (which is held on 6-7 December). Being told that such early beginning of the voting violates the Electoral Code, the lecturer answered: ‘What laws are you talking about? Do you think we are living in a miracle?’

The lecturers also reminded about the harassment of students during the previous election. It is especially easy to pressurize the students who come from other towns and cities: they were simply evicted from the student dormitories, allegedly because of the lack of places.

According to the Electoral Code, early voting is conducted for five days before the Election Day. Thus, during the present election it must take place on 14-18 December.

Human Rights Defenders for Free Elections