Ihar Kuzminich: soon we may hear about many cases of pressurization of lecturers
Ihar Kuzminich, who used to work as a lecturer on theory of jurisprudence at Hrodna State University, says he had to quit his job because of … the tales in his blog.
ERB: Why did you decide to quit?
Ihar Kuzminich: The administration persuaded me to write an application for dismissal. Later my wage was decreased more than in a half – it became just two million rubles plus something. Belarusian citizens must have the right to freely express their views even if they don't correspond to somebody else's ones. It is a duty of the participants of scientific community to express original views. I disagree with the pressurization of me and other lecturers.
ERB: What precisely did the university administration dislike?
Ihar Kuzminich: They didn't like that I wrote two tales and published them at my blog. One of them concerned the origin of the white-red-white flag and the other – the "Pahonia" coat of arms. Frankly speaking, these are tales for children. All other materials, which were presented as my fault, have no political coloring either. For instance, I expressed my opinion as to who can be considered as a Belarusian writer.
ERB: Historian Andrei Charniakevich was the first to be dismissed from Hrodna University, now you are leaving it as well...
Ihar Kuzminich: Most probably, the administration of the university has nothing to do with it. Charniakevich and I worked here for almost 20 years. What we said to our students didn't differ from what we wrote in the Internet. I also taught my subject in Belarusian. Everything started quite suddenly. In the beginning of spring 2012 I had perfect relations with the administration. And this very administration summoned me at the end of spring, and in the beginning of autumn I was asked to quit. The pressurization started during the electoral campaign. I don't think that the university would have dared to take such steps on its own initiative.
ERB: Does the university administration pressurize anybody else?
Ihar Kuzminich: Soon we will hear about many cases of such pressurization. Even now I am aware of several such cases. By the way, it doesn't concern only the issue of the "Hrodna Studies" book. Everything is much wider than that.
ERB: What are your plans for the future? Do you have any proposals of employment?
No, there haven't been such proposals so far. Probably, I am given some time to put my candidate's thesis in order, though I can hardly hope for its successful defense here. However, it's a different issue.
Bear in mind that historian Andrei Charniakevich, author of the "Hrodna Studies" book, published in Poland, was the first lecturer to be dismissed from Hrodna State University. Afterwards, the head of Hrodna Region Executive Committee Siamion Shapira confessed that it was his personal decision. A new rector, Andrei Karol, was appointed soon after it. On 1 April it became known that the Council of Hrodna State University didn't vote for the appointment of the doctor of historical sciences Viachaslau Shved at the university contest which also opened the prospective of his dismissal.