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Residents of Horki protest against construction of garages near memorial

2015 2015-09-07T13:57:20+0300 2015-09-07T13:57:20+0300 en The Human Rights Center “Viasna” The Human Rights Center “Viasna”
The Human Rights Center “Viasna”

Residents of Horki protest against the construction of garages near the memorial "Grieving Mother", where executions of civilians and prisoners of war were conducted during the Second World War.

As reported by the newspaper “UzHorak”, citizens of the surrounding houses started collecting signatures in protest against the building of the garages in the green zone behind the monument without any public discussion, and held a meeting.

Residents of the neighborhood "Čaromuški" where the memorial “Grieving Mother” is located, oppose the expansion of garage construction in the green zone, as they believe that the exact boundaries of the graves of victims of the Second World War, shot dead in this part of the town, haven't been established yet. Therefore, the people think that there shouldn't be any buildings, just the Memorial Park.

The citizens have created an initiative group, which is collecting signatures under an appeal to Horki District Executive Committee. In the evening of August 31 they held a meeting, at which they expressed their protest against the construction works, launched without any public discussion. The meeting was also attended by representatives of the local authorities, as well as some of the owners of the future garages. Chair of Horki DEC Uladzimir Piskizhau told the present people that the decision about the construction of the garages had been taken before his appointment and he was ready to listen to the arguments of the sides in a quieter atmosphere. For this sake he invited the interested sides to have an audience with him on September 9.

As stated by the chief editor of “UzHorak” Halina Budnaya, in 2001 Horki authorities had already attempted to start building garages behind the monument, but Horki residents managed to defend the place, actively collecting signatures and filing appeals to various state instances. The then Chair of Horki DEC adopted the decision to create a park in the vacant area and organized a Subbotnik, whose participants planted young trees.

Before World War II, there was the garden of the educational facilities of the Belarusian Agricultural Institute in the place of the park. During the war, the northern edge of the town of Horki became a place of executions of Soviet citizens. According to the book “Memory. Horki district”, about 2,000 people are buried in nine mass graves that are 8 meters long and 6 meters wide.

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