Picks of the week
A group of activists marked December 10, World Human Rights Day, by staging an “art intervention” on Minsk’s central Yakub Kolas Square. The installation comprised 36 pairs of orange shoes which symbolized the victims of domestic violence.
“We still have no law on domestic violence. Meanwhile, these women and children found themselves in such situations. We chose shoes for our art installation, as it speaks volumes about the people that are no longer with us,” Maryna Korzh, a March, Baby activist, said.
In 2019, domestic violence claimed 55 lives, according to the Interior Ministry.
Aliaksandr Kabanau, a blogger in Biaroza known for his criticism of the government, has been cleared of embezzlement charges, Belarusian Association of Journalists said.
The case has been closed for lack of evidence.
Kabanau faced criminal charges in March over a minor sum he allegedly stole from a condominium fund. The blogger denied all accusations.
Earlier, the charges were dropped citing the same reason but re-opened after a harsh comment from President Lukashenka targeting environmental activists campaigning against a hazardous enterprise set to open near Brest. Kabanau was an active participant in the campaign and was going to run for Parliament but was not registered on dubious grounds.
Belarusian courts continue to convict people involved in the parliamentary elections. Most of them have been punished over peaceful protests.
This week’s sad exception is the case of activist Piotr Markelau who was sentenced to 14 days in jail on “disorderly conduct” charges. Markelau argues that he was charged after asking for a recount of the ballots at a polling station in Minsk.
According to the activist’s mother, the conditions of his imprisonment are poor.
“Piotr shares the cell with two homeless persons. The smell is awful and there are lice there, too,” she said.