Chair of Salihorsk District Executive Committee disrupts meeting with indignant citizens
In the evening of August 6, Salihorsk district authorities organized a meeting with Salihorskers who were outraged with the construction of a new multi-storeyed house near the shop “Lazyryt”.
Three minutes after the beginning the state officials, headed by Chief of Salihorsk DEC Aliaksandr Rymasheuski demonstratively left the hall, after which there appeared a police brigade.
The advance of the authorities on the green areas in the “capital of miners have lasted many years already. Salihorsk is known for its extreme population density, 12,000/km2 (31,000/sq mi). Therefore, the constant attempts of the authorities to construct new multi-storeyed buildings by destroying green zones, playgrounds and stadiums are treated very painfully by the local dwellers. This is also the case of the planned construction near “Lazuryt”.
According to information received by Salihorsk human rights activists, public hearings on the construction project took place last year. However, the local dwellers knew nothing about it, as the announcement about the meeting was published just somewhere on the website of Salihorsk DEC. However, when the threat of destruction hit the green zone, the citizens collected several thousand signatures against the construction works and the authorities invited them for a meeting to sham their reaction.
At 5 p.m. about fifty people gathered in the hall of the executive committee. According to representatives of the initiative group, even more people could come had the meeting been announced earlier than yesterday's evening. The executive committee was represented by the heads of the profile departments with Aliaksandr Rymasheuski at the head. The meeting was started by a citizens' representative, who told the present people about the aim of the assembly. However, starting from very beginning Aliaksandr Rymasheuski started to interrupt her in a rather squeamish and disrespectful manner.
“It just looked weird. Some of those present tried video it on their mobile phones. Then the head of the DEC suddenly stood up, said that the meeting was over and ran out of the hall. The remaining officials remained on their seats. Later he returned and took them away with him,” says a representative of the Belarusian Helsinki Committee Leanid Markhotka, who attended the “meeting”.
The people were just shocked. It was the authorities who invited them, just to run away three minutes after the beginning. The people were really indignant with all that: the appointment of the meeting on an inconvenient time, the heat and the insulting demarche of Rymasheuski. They refused to disperse and decided to wait for the authorities to return and talk with them. Instead of it, after a while there came a police brigade, headed by Yauhen Zhylinski. No one was detained, though.
Later, the chief ideologist of Salihorsk District Executive Committee Mikalai Maskevich came to the people in order to sooth the conflict. The quarrel between him and the people lasted until 7 p.m. As a result, the ideologist had to announce a new meeting at 7 p.m. on August 12.