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Disregarding The Law

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Disregarding The Law Anarchists are prosecuted in Minsk (Belarus) They've decided to stand up against the system. They attacked the stronghold of bureaucrats and don't want to deal with tyranny. Prosecutor demand for them from 5 to 9 years of imprisonment. The investigation process is commented by the one who escaped from the country. On May 18, 2011 trials of the anarchists accused of a number of actions against capitalism, militarism and police state began in Minsk, Belarus. The most notorious of the protests was the attack on the Russian Embassy in Minsk with Molotov cocktails. One of embassy cars was damaged and it caused a diplomatic scandal. Russian and Belarusian diplomats had accused each other of provocation until a previously unknown anarchist group “Friends of Freedom” claimed responsibility for the attack. Among the episodes imposed as a charge upon the anarchists, is an illegal demonstration near the General Headquarter of Belarusian armed forces. Anarchists protested against Russian-Belarusian military exercises “West 2009”. About 30 people marched with a banner “People are starving, militarists are playing” along the streets of Minsk. A smoke grenade was thrown onto the territory of the General Headquarters. “Hypocrytically complaining about the crisis and its financial implications, our (and Russian) government nevertheless waste huge money for riding tanks in honour of the “united state” and “brotherly unity””, this way the idea of the protest was explained in the statement of anarchists. Smoke bombs didn’t disrupt the work of the General Headquarters, but the march became one of the episodes imposed on the anarchists. The action was qualified as an act of hooliganism - sentence according to this article can be up to 6 years of prison. Another episode is the attack on a police station in Soligorsk. This time one of the windows was broken and a signal flare was thrown but it had not even got inside. Initially, the local police did not prosecute any people for this minor event, but later, when Belarus political police needed to present anarchists as a gang of criminals, two people were charged with “hooliganism”. The protest in Soligorsk was intended to remind that a year earlier a human rights activist Yana Polyakova had committed suicide. The woman did not survive after she had been bullied by a policemen. The statement of the anarchists said: “This protest is our desire of freedom and the desire to achieve our ideals of justice and self-government. Broken windows of police department is our reminder to the people in uniform, that we are tired of the cynicism in these walls”. Belarusian anarchists are charged with “hooliganism” and “intentional property destruction”. Mikalaj Dziadok is charged with: the organization of antimilitarist march near the General Headquarters, the attack on “Shangri-La” casino, the attack on the building of the Belarusian Federation of Trade Unions. Didn’t plead guilty. Ihar Alinevich is charged with: the attack on the Russian Embassy in Minsk, the co-organization of the antimilitarist march near the General Headquarters, the attack on “Shangri-La” casino, the arson of a Belarusbank’ department, the attack on the detention facility “Okrestina”. Didn’t plead guilty. Aliaksandr Frantskievich is charged with: the participation in the antimilitarist march near the General Headquarters, the attack on the building of the Belarus’ Federation of Trade Unions. the attack on a police department in Soligorsk, the hacking website of Novopolotsk’ authorities. Didn’t plead guilty. Maxim Vetkin is charged with: the attack on the Russian Embassy in Minsk, the arson of a Belarusbank’ department. Jauhen Silivonchyk is charged with: the attack on a police department in Soligorsk. Vetkin and Silivonchyk admitted their guilt and cooperated with investigation bodies. Anarchist Dmitry Dubovsky tells about the reasons for the direct actions in Belarus. Belarusian political police suspects Dmitry of the involvement in a number of protests, so he was forced to hide. “Dmitry Dubovsky, a suspect in the case of Belarusian anarchist” Anarchists fought against nuclear power plant construction in Belarus, they tried to participate in social conflicts, but due to the fact that the protest movement was small and weak, people were passive, afraid and repressed by the state, the situation worsened and the movement passed to radical direct action. It was a demonstration that people can still defend their rights through direct action even in conditions of pressure and terror. Witnesses at the trial of anarchists constantly repeated that it’s impossible to protect human rights in a police state called Belarus. Most witnesses said that during interrogations they had been pressured by KGB agents and the police. They were forced to provide the desired testimony, threatened by the problems with parents’ and relatives’ working places, expulsion from universities and inclusion in the number of the defendants. Witnesses – mostly young people – said at the trial that they did not claim rights’ offense, because they do not believe in the possibility to punish police officers. Even before the investigation started to treat me as a suspect, Belarusian political police had carried out intervention in my personal life and life of my relatives. KGB got an access to e-mail of my girlfriend and started to correspond with me on her behalf. My letters were personal and could not be useful for the investigation. For about two weeks they tried to find out where I am by using this correspondence. KGB also forbade my friends to get in touch with me. Not only Belarusian authorities want to imprison anarchists, but they are trying to create an image of them as ruthless and cynical criminals. To convince people that their activity is dangerous for life and health of civilians, pro-government journalists created a documentary shown on the central TV channel of Belarus. It was called “Anarchy. Direct action”. This piece of Lukashenka’s regime propaganda can be found and watched on the Internet (in Russian). We asked Dmitry Dubovsky to share what he thinks about safety of the protest activities of anarchists for ordinary people. The actions caused little damage to buildings and state institutions. They attacked places where officials directly related to negative processes in Belarus worked. The attacks took place in the evening, when there were no people inside the buildings. It was a symbolic action such as smashing windows and graffiti. Actions with Molotov cocktails also didn’t threat life of people. The car which was burnt on the territory of the Russian embassy stood pretty far away from objects that could spread the fire. Concrete constructions of “Belarusbank” also did not allow fire to spread to the flats. You can see it in the film “Anarchy. Direct action”. During the attack on the prison “Okrestina” Molotov cocktails were not thrown into the building where people could stay. The case of Belarusian anarchists – five defendants and eight episodes – was judjed during only five days in the court of Zavodskoi district of Minsk. Despite the fact that some witnesses failed to appear in the court and the defendants insisted on them being interrogated, the judge decided that reading of their testimony at the preliminary inquest was enough. Many prosecution witnesses refused testimony at the inquest. Others contradicted themselves. Nevertheless, the prosecutor found guilty all the defendants and demanded 9 years of imprisonment in a hard regime facility for Ihar Alinevich, 6 years of imprisonment in a hard regime facility for Mikalaj Dziadok, 5 years of imprisonment in a hard regime facility for Aliaksandr Frantskievich. For Maxim Vetkin and Jauhen Silivonchyk, who collaborated with investigation bodies, prosecutor asked 4 and 3 years of freedom limitation. The investigation into the case of the anarchists once again proved that KGB and the police are not the “servants of law” as they call themselves. Laws are used by them to crack down on dissidents and they easily break laws when needed. Ihar Alinevich was kidnapped by the political police in Moscow on November 28, 2010 and, bypassing the extradition procedure, moved across the border to Minsk. Parents found Ihar in the KGB prison only two days later. How Igor was kidnapped, Dmitry Dubovsky tells. Why Ihar has not been imprisoned to be extended to Belarus through extradition procedures? On that day me and Ihar scheduled an appointment with a guy from Belarus. We arrived early and stayed in a cafe of shopping center for two hours. When we left the cafe, someone shouted “Ihar”. Ihar turned back and was seized by four men in civilian clothes. I took a few steps away, turned and saw that Ihar was already knocked to the ground. Another person tried to knock me down but I escaped and ran away. I ran through the shopping center and went out in another street. Where they dragged Ihar, I couldn’t see. The repressions against anarchists and kidnapping of Ihar occurred at the time when Belarusian authorities were preparing for presidential election and conducting a campaign to eliminate social and protest movements. Placing Ihar in Russian detention center was not convenient to them in all senses. Extradition is a fairly long procedure and it would attract public attention to anarchists. Another witness, Denis Bystryk, decided to leave Belarus after several interrogations by political police. The investigation threatened Bystryk and forced him to take part in shooting the film “Anarchy.Direct action”. Denis tells about the reasons why he left the country in the film “Anarchy. Direct action. Impartial version” made by the ABC Belarus, which you can find on the Internet. They told that my destiny is in their hands and I’m a witness or a defendant today but I can become a prisoner tomorrow. They threatened me with various unpleasant prospects. They told me that I should be on the film which should be focused on activities of social movements in Belarus in particular, anarchists. They said that I should understand the precariousness of my position, that I have no other options and I must act in the film. I asked when it should be done, investigator answered “immediately, right before the presidential election”. On 19th of december anarchists had participated in the protest against falcificatinons of the election, where they also raised the problem of the political prisoners. Lukashenko answered in his own style. During the hearing on May 24 the defendants were given their last word. Mikalaj Dziadok said: “My innocence was proved by the documents of the case. I want to say thank you to my friends and colleagues, without their support it would have been much harder. I want to say to the punitive structures: you will not gag everybody and will not put everyone in prison!” Aliaksandar Frantskievich said: "For nine months I’ve been watching the judicial system. I dealt with more than 300 people, and I see that the only thing that works in our judicial system is humility. Humility to investigators, judges, prosecutors. Many say that our case and cases of “December 19” are demonstrative trials. In fact, in Belarus all trials are demonstrative, nobody is protected. So I have no illusions about my future". At this moment the judge interrupted the defendant, claiming that his talking is not relevant to the case. PS The sentence was handed down to Belarus anarchists on May 27. Ihar Alinevich 8 years of hard regime Mikalaj Dziadok 4,5 years of hard regime Aliaksandar Frantskievich 3 years of hard regime Maxim Vetkin 4 years of freedom limitation Jauhen Silivonchyk 1,5 years of freedom limitation More information: belarus.indymedia.org and avtonom.org/en/freebelarus

Video Details

Duration: 14 minutes and 51 seconds
Country: Belarus
Language: English
Views: 444
Posted by: mr.dotsubber on Aug 17, 2011

Short documentary about the repressions of the anarchists in Belarus in 2010-2011.
More information http://www.autistici.org/abc-belarus/?lang=en

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