Baran: Independent Candidates Are Discredited

2007 2007-01-12T10:00:00+0200 1970-01-01T03:00:00+0300 en The Human Rights Center “Viasna” The Human Rights Center “Viasna”
The Human Rights Center “Viasna”

Baran is a small town near Orsha where four independent candidates are running to deputy soviets of different levels. Yesterday overnight unidentified persons distributed leaflets with false and insulting information about these people.

According to the information received from Viktar Mikhasiou, a member of the Belarusian Social Democratic Party Hramada who runs to Baran town deputy soviet the leaflets were posted at bus-stops and ad boards. In these leaflets Mr. Mikhasiou, the chair of the independent trade union of steelworkers Vasil Leuchankau (who runs to Baran town deputy soviet) and his wife Hanna Leuchankava, a candidate to Orsha city deputy soviet and Baran town deputy soviet are labeled as ‘Western imperialism’s servants’. Iury Nahorny, a secondary school headmaster and the chair of the local branch of Belarusian Language Society, is mentioned there as well as ‘living for foreign money’. According to Mr. Mikhasiou who takes part in local elections for the second time already and is an acting deputy of Baran town deputy soviet, during the previous local election leaflets of independent candidates were torn off. Now ‘the unknown’ spoil them instead.

‘In order to discredit Leuchankau they produced a special large seal with BPF abbreviation standing for Belarusian People’s Front. To my mind, it is done in order to show to the electorate that he is an opposition member, which a part of electors can dislike. Somebody also wrote ‘Cheater!’ on every leaflet of Halina Matsiushenka. Strange leaflets are thrown into postboxes and are sent to those who work in the teams on independent candidates. About me they wrote that I am a KGB agent. I think there is a group of people doing it on someone’s order,’ commented Mr. Mikhasiou in his interview with RFE/RL.

The independent candidate’s consider it senseless to apply to the police or prosecutor’s offices and destroy the spoiled leaflets with their own forces.