Picks of the week
Alena Masliukova, Viasna’s activist in the city of Svietlahorsk, Homieĺ region, has been targeted by anonymous detractors who hanged several defamatory flyers in the city center, nn.by said.
The human rights defender is accused of “defending her own interests” in the community’s confrontation with the municipal officials over a newly constructed bleached pulp factory.
Masliukova says she has filed a complaint with the police asking the authorities to find the persons involved in the smear campaign.
A former school teacher, Alena Masliukova was fired for her civic activity and is now known for her role in environmental protests.
Several dozen fans of rap performer Max Korzh are facing heavy fines for staging a procession in Hrodna following the artist’s Minsk concert on August 24, s13.ru said.
The teenagers thus tried to invite their idol to come to the city. However, the police said the march was illegal demonstrating and the fans had to seek permission for the event.
The Belarusian army should introduce a new branch – agricultural troops – human rights defender Valiantsin Stefanovich wrote in a blog on Viasna’s website.
The half-joking proposal came in response to fresh examples of intensive involvement of conscripts in harvesting crops.
“Every August, the battle for the harvest begins in our country. Every year, the longtime leader of the country requires the mobilization of all forces in the battle. All for the front, all for victory! The valiant army cannot stand aside in such a complex operational environment. It annually sends troops to reinforce agricultural businesses. This year, newspapers report the sending of troops to the fields of four districts in the Hrodna region,” Stefanovich said.
The pamphlet is meant to criticize the disgraceful practice of sending students, military men and government employees to help state-owned farms in harvesting time.
Human rights defenders say the Soviet-era vestige is nothing but forced labor, which sometimes results in a tragic toll.