Yury Bachyshcha: I was suggested to choose: either observing the election, or teaching students

2006 2006-12-20T10:00:00+0200 1970-01-01T03:00:00+0300 en The Human Rights Center “Viasna” The Human Rights Center “Viasna”
The Human Rights Center “Viasna”

Yury Bachyshcha, assistant professor at Belarusian State Teacher’s University was fired on March 23, 2006. the official reason for his dismissal was for “immoral actions, which does not correspond to the position of a teacher”. The university administration accused the assistant professor of distributing CDs with materials that insult the honor and dignity of the president of the Republic of Belarus.

Yury Bachyshca does not recognized the fact that he has “acted immorally”. He is convinced he was fired because of his participation in the presidential election as an independent poll-watcher. Before he was fired he had been called for a conversation to the rector’s office. Rector Piotr Kukharchyk and deputy rectors S. Koptseva, A. Andarala, and Yu. Bykadorau asked him what he was doing at a polling station, who nominated him to be an observer, and what kind of reports he wrote, etc. That’s why the teacher appealed to court asking to restore him in his job. During the first day of the hearing, on May 17, the university rector addressed the prosecutor’s office asking to examine the activity of Yury Bachyshcha and find out whether he has committed a crime. That is why consideration of the teacher’s suit against the university was postponed for over 6 months.

In the end of November the prosecutor’s office carried out a check up and did not find any proofs that the assistant professor distributed CDs with the materials insulting the president.

On December 12 the court began hearings of Bachyshcha’s suit. University representatives V. Alaviannikau (head of HR deparment) and the university lawyer asked to make the hearing closed for public. However, their petition was rejected. At the same time, it was the first time that Mr. Alaviannikau claimed that the “immoral activity” was “not only the distribution of the CDs but also the political propaganda among the students”. Although earlier the official paper signed by vice rector Yu. Bykadorau says that the essence of the “immoral action” was the very distribution of the CD.

Witnesses testified that the teacher was fired during 24 hours on the basis of the report of student A. Hryshkevich. The administration (the rector, the dean, the head of the Chair, or the HR manager) failed to examine the validity of the facts in the student’s report. The examination began only on May 17, in 2 months after dismissal. The examination found out that Bachyshcha was not guilty.

Professor H. Kosmach, head of the Chair of Modern History, testified in court on May 17. He accused Yury Bachyshcha of political propaganda among the students. On December 7 he wrote a report that in the beginning of March he allegedly heard a conversation of the teacher with his students. According to Kosmach, Bachyshcha “criticized the regime and urged the students to go to the streets”.

Just as in the soviet times H. Kosmach “reproached” the young assistant professor that they “raised him, cared about him, and, instead of being grateful to his teachers, he turned out to be such an immoral fellow. Obviously, he meant that the teacher had to quit himself as a sign of gratitude to the teachers, instead of going to court and defending his rights.

Another witness, dean of historical faculty M. Zabauski, claimed that he didn’t know about any concrete facts of Bachyshcha’s illegal activities. He added that all that was just “some rumors”.

Yury Bachyshcha denies all accusations and believes he is persecuted by the university administratiom for his civic activity beyond the university walls, i.e. being an independent poll-watcher during the presidential election.