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Organizational Committee of Chernobyl Way Addresses Belarusian People

2007 2007-04-09T10:00:00+0300 1970-01-01T03:00:00+0300 en The Human Rights Center “Viasna” The Human Rights Center “Viasna”
The Human Rights Center “Viasna”

According to Charter’97

The organizational committee on holding Chernobyl Way rally has addressed the nation on the occasion of the 21st anniversary of the catastrophe at Chernobyl nuclear power station.

The application for authorization of the action has been already submitted to Minsk city executive committee. The organizers plan to start the rally at 6 p.m. in Iakub Kolas. Then the procession will go along the Independence Avenue to the national library, where a meeting will take place.

Here’s the text of the appeal:

Dear compatriots,

21 years have passed since a tragic date for Belarus – 26 April. The largest anthropogenic catastrophe in our history has inflicted an irretrievable harm to our country. About 2/3 of the radioactive wastes landed on our territory and polluted about 1/5 of it, where 20% of the population lived. Almost all Belarus was covered by the first wave of short-term radio nuclides, a part of which was forcibly brought down on us to save Moscow. All it was done under the cover of criminal secrecy and people could not defend themselves from this blow.

Thanks to the efforts of democratic forces since the end of 1980-ies measures for lowering the risks and establishment of a rehabilitation system started to be taken:

- foodstuffs were brought from clean territories including import from foreign countries;

people started getting financial compensation for buying foodstuffs;

kitchen gardens were covered with special substances, which decreased the absorption of radio-nuclides by vegetables;

a considerable part of people resettled at clean territories;

a reliable system of radiation control was established in almost all spheres;

the medical services were restructured and specialized institutions of radiation medicine were established;

the victims of the catastrophe were supplied with medicines;

there were established charity funds for getting humanitarian aid from abroad and rehabilitation of children in Europe, USA and Canada.

Finally, in February 1991 the Supreme Soviet adopted the law On social defense of victims of the catastrophe at Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant.

However, with the suppression of democracy the country’s government changed its attitude to the national grief. The main disorganization of all systems of people’s defense and rehabilitation took place under the present government, to which the problem of Chernobyl hinders to imitate the country’s bloom.

By his decrees A.Lukashenka abolished a large part of the law, thus depriving the innocent victims of any support. The specialized medical institutions were liquidated and a politically motivated bureaucratic control of the humanitarian aid was introduced, resulting in cessation of such aid. The activity of the funds that dealt with rehabilitation of children abroad was stopped as well, as the children could see other political systems and life standards otherwise.

With the convivance of the highest officials the state organs lawlessly liquidate the remnants of the still active laws. In May 2006 the Ministry of Health Care ruled to exclude the persons with all diseases called by the consequences of Chernobyl catastrophe from the list of those who are to be sent to health resorts. Thus the liquidators of the catastrophe’s consequences and 2nd group disabled were deprived of their legal rights. Similar ‘care’ was demonstrated by the Fund for rehabilitation and treatment at health resorts. This list can be continued infinitely.

The actions of the local officials who try to intimidate the dissatisfied by threats, seem the most outrageous ones. A logical reaction of the society to the criminal indifference of the state became the establishment of the public initiatives which aim to draw public attention to the problems and self-defense of the victims: yearly Chernobyl Way rallies, the initiative Victims of Chernobyl, etc.

The European Union proposed to Belarus a complex support in solving its economic, energetic, social and Chernobyl problems by joining the country to the European programs, with the conditions that the present authorities stop the political repressions and will turn to democracy, including the establishment of a transparent and people-oriented usage of the aid. However, the government still hasn’t accepted the European proposal.

The result of such policy is ruinous for the Belarusian nation. In 1993 we entered the zone of demographic catastrophe and since that time lost about 500 000 citizens. According to the UN experts, by 2020 this loss will reach 1 million persons and by 2050 the population will decrease by 28% more. The main reasons are not only atomic Chernobyl, but also ‘political Chernobyl’ that results in ‘social and economical Chernobyl’.

Such a policy can be called genocide of the own nation.

We demand to:

  1. Abolish all ruling contradicting the law On social defense of the victims of the catastrophe at Chernobyl nuclear power station.

  2. Restore the financial compensation to Chernobyl’s victims in the dollar equivalent to the Soviet rubble of 1990.

  3. To reopen all specialized medical institutions, including the Institute of radiation medicine and endocrinology and establish its offices in all regions of Belarus.

  4. To make prophylactic medical examination of all population and fully restore the sytem of radiation control of foodstuffs and environment.

  5. To attest the workers of the State Committee on Chernobyl concerning their professionalism and conscientiousness with the aid of independent expert commissions.

  6. To apply to the appropriate UN organs with the request to consider the question of human rights in Belarus in connection with the policy of physical liquidation of the nation conducted here.

  7. To include the question of Chernobyl compensation for Belarus in the agenda of negotiations with Russia as the legal successor of the USSR.

  8. To abolish all restrictions for humanitarian activity of public associations and funds.

  9. To stop criminal and administrative persecution of those who disagree with the policy of the authorities which violated the constitutional rights of citizens. To abolish the permissive order for registration of public organizations and associations.

  10. To immediately give a positive answer to the proposals of the European Union and make concrete steps for democratization, beginning of system cooperation with the United Europe in the economical, energetic, Chernobyl and other spheres.

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