Committee to Protect Children Established in Babruisk
Human rights activists,
journalists and representatives of political movements formed a
committee to protect children in connection with the recent
kidnapping of the daughter of the Babruisk activist of the organizing
committee of the party "Belarusian Christian Democracy"
Viachaslau Sheleh. This decision was approved at their roundtable in
On 27 July Sheleh's 16-year-old daughter was hospitalized with a suspected concussion. According to her father, unidentified persons hit Natallia on the head while she was doing morning exercises. As a result she lost consciousness, after which she was taken to a forest 20 kilometers from Babruisk and left there, smeared with black paint. The oppositionist considers the incident as an attempt of the security services to exercise pressure on him.
The round table was attended by about 30 people, including representatigves of the Belarusian Christian Democracy, the Belarusian Popular Front, "Fair World", the Belarusian Social Democratic Party "Hramada", as well as local journalists, human rights activists and ordinary citizens. At present, the committee consists of 18 people, the list of founders remains open.
"We are creating a citizens' committee and will undertake to inform Babruisk residents about this case”, said the committee member Taisa Kabanchuk to BelaPAN . “We will concentrate on informing the society and its consolidation around the family so that nothing of the kind will happen to any of us".
Participants of the meeting drafted an appeal which they intend to submit to law-enforcement agencies, including the Investigative Committee and the local authorities on 5 August. There the citizens express their "extreme indignation at what happened to Natallia Sheleh" and claim that social activists receive such threats regulardly and consequently.
The authors of the address are dissatisfied with the fact that the actions of the unknown towards the 16-year-old girl are qualified just as hooliganism. They ask the investigating authorities "to conduct an investigation as transparent as possible and to inform the public about it" and to initiate hearings with the participation of citizens and law enforcement officials on the results of the investigation in September.