No space for independent NGOs and opposition at city conference in Babruisk
The local media reported about the city conference, which, as it turned out, was held in late November and was attended by public associations, which presented their activities.
According to the website of the Babruisk City Executive Committee, "the conference hosted a working demonstration area, which presented the diversity of the civil sector of the city. The head of the executive committee attended this forum, which brought together representatives of the organizational structures of political parties, trade unions and non-governmental organizations operating in Babruisk.
Those who are included in the "multi-vector civil sector", are listed in the text: the Board of chairmen of committees of trade unions, the Republican Party of Labor and Justice, the Communist Party of Belarus, Belaya Rus, the Society of lifeguards on the water, the Belarusian Federation of Bodybuilding and fitness, the art studio "Viasiolka", the Belarusian Republican Youth Union, the Red Cross and others. However, there are no representatives from the alternative parties and organizations.
“I have never heard of such a conference”, says Mikhail Kavalkou, chairman of the Belarusian Free Trade Union of the Tractor Parts and Assemblies Plant. “I am not a member of the Board of Chairmen of committees of trade unions either. Most probably, only pro-government trade unions are represented there.”
“The fact that we are not invited to such conferences, vividly illustrates the schism in the society,” says Halina Smirnova , chairman of the Babruisk branch of the Trade Union of Radio Electronic Industry. “I'm sure that among the guests of the conference there were also adequate people with whom one would cooperate to solve common social problems, but we were not invited there. We tried to invite representatives of the government and pro-government structures to our round tables and discussions, but they never came.”
“I would have come to such a conference, and why should we refuse?” agrees with Smirnova chairman of the local Social Democrats Yury Hryniavetski. “I would have listened to what they say, and we even could solve some problems together. However, most probably only pro-government institutions were invited there. If so, then the organizers violate the Constitution, as there are registered branches of alternative structures, which were to have been invited too.”
“This is the first time I hear about this conference”, said Viktar Buzinayeu, chairman of the local branch of the United Civil Party, which, registered in Babruisk. “We were not invited there. Why? Probably because we are the "fifth column", we have different views. Frankly, I do not even know how to comment on the actions of people who even don't know what they fear and abstain from contacts. Are they afraid of provocations from our side? But this has never happened,” commented Mr. Buzinayeu.