Mikola Statkevich calls for new rally near KGB building

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April 22, 2016 19:33

Former political prisoner and former presidential candidate Mikalai Statkevich has invited Belarusians to stand in chain near the KGB building in Minsk with candles in hands to remember the victims of Stalinism.

This is what the former political prisoner wrote on his Facebook.

“October 29 is a black day of the Belarusian history. On this day in 1937 the NKVD shot more than 100 figures of our culture, especially writers. Stalin’s executioners knew what they were doing. It is the “people of words” who create the spiritual foundation of the nation, without which it turns into a herd. We are guilty before our martyrs, because executioners who killed them and hundreds of thousands of other Belarusians still have not been convicted and are considered heroes. Thus, today’s descendants of the executioners are boldly going their way. Patriots of Belarus are again tortured in prisons. If a society forgets its tragedies, they can be repeated.”

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Problems remain for independent journalism in Belarus
April 22, 2016 19:37

Despite raised hopes, a full turn toward Europe seems unlikely.

Do recent events indicate that Belarus could fully turn towards Europe and pull away from Russia politically? In the last few months, a number of developments have excited observers in international media and revitalised old debates about the former Soviet country’s future. But despite positive indications, a broader view suggests that this prediction may be overly optimistic.

In the judgment of most media freedom or democracy indexes, the Eastern European country is labelled as one of the worst in Europe and in recent years Belarus has shown no tangible progress towards establishing a free media atmosphere.

 

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