Trump signed The Belarus Democracy Act; Fazel wants to hold negotiations with both Lukashenko and the opposition – Yelena Leuchanka answered unequivocally; Belarusian pensioners went out to protest even on ice; ever more cruel and ridiculous accusations are made against the citizens of Belarus
28 December 2020 | BYHelp-Mediagroup
US President Donald Trump signs The Belarus Democracy Act
The Belarus Democracy Act signed by Donald Trump gives additional powers to the US President to impose sanctions related to the post-election protests in Belarus. The act was signed as part of the approval of the 2021 budget. Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee Jim Risch noted that this decision confirms the United States’ support for the people of Belarus:
“The brutal and ongoing persecution of civilians protesting against the regime of Mr. Lukashenko in Belarus is fraudulent. The legislation adopted today confirms the US support for the Belarusian people and their the desire for a freer and more democratic future.”
The act declares Alexander Lukashenko as illegitimate, recognizes the Coordination Council as a legitimate body for negotiating new presidential elections in Belarus and the peaceful transfer of power in accordance with OSCE standards. A report on the threat to the sovereignty and independence of Belarus and Russia’s involvement therein, as well as a document on the financial condition of Alexander Lukashenko and those responsible for the rigging of the presidential elections and political repression in Belarus, are to be submitted within four months for the introduction of personal sanctions against them.
Belarusian pensioners continue to gather for rallies against Lukashenko
Almost all pensioners’ marches that took place in Belarus were accompanied by tough measures by the security forces, and the processions were not allowed to unite in an organized way. Pensioners were detained and fined, so today (as well as last Monday) they changed their meeting place and decided to meet near the New Year’s tree, away from the city center. The pensioners who gathered for the traditional protest brought national flags with them and chanted “Long live Belarus!”, but after some time they parted due to heavy ice on the street. None of the elderly people were detained.
A Criminal case for drawings on the street, up to 25 years in prison for a murder witness and a fine for a repost from a telegram channel
In the small town of Belarus, Skidzel, a girl was detained for drawing protest pictures at bus stops and walls. Her drawings depict storks, girls, Christmas trees with the inscription “Long live Belarus”, none of them were calls for violence. All images and inscriptions were made in mid-December. Their author turned out to be a 26-year-old local resident. A stencil and paints were found at the girl’s house, a criminal case was opened against the girl.
A resident of another regional city in Belarus – Bykhau – was convicted of reposting messages from telegram channels that were objectionable to the authorities. The girl was fined about 140 euros.
Brest resident Aliaksandr Kardziukou was charged with attempted murder. He became an eyewitness to the moment when Henadz Shutau was mortally wounded in the head on 11 August. Henadz died 8 days later, on 19 August, from a gunshot wound to the head. A criminal case on the fact of Shutau’s murder has not yet been opened – however, a criminal case has emerged against a witness of the events, Aliaksandr Kardziukou. First, Kardziukou was charged under Part 2 of Art. 363 of the Criminal Code (“Resistance to a police officer”). But later the article was changed – now he is accused of attempted murder (part 2 of Art. 139 of the Criminal Code of the Republic of Belarus). He faces from 5-25 years to life in prison.
After the imposition of sanctions, the Belarusian oligarch Varabei was refused the purchase of a bank in Ukraine
After the introduction of personal EU sanctions against persons involved in violence against civilians in the Republic of Belarus, the National Bank of Ukraine refused the acquisition of BTA Bank by a citizen of Belarus, Mikalai Varabei, due to his flawed business reputation. Mikalai Varabei, along with his business partners Aliaksei Aleksin and Aliaksandr Zaitsau, enjoys the special favors of Alexander Lukashenko, supports his regime and is his “wallet”. Varabei is one of the leading businessmen in Belarus with business interests in the oil industry, coal transit, banking and other sectors of the economy. He is one of the business partners of Viktor Medvedchuk, who is the godfather of Russian President Vladimir Putin.
President of the International Ice Hockey Federation Rene Fasel proposed to discuss the holding of the World Cup 2021 with the government and opposition of Belarus
The International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) has until 11 January to give an answer on where the 2021 IIHF World Championship will be held. Despite the fact that the world community has repeatedly called on Fasel personally with an appeal to transfer the championship from Belarus to another country, there has not yet been an official response.
Rene Fasel responded to an open letter from Yelena Leuchanka, a representative of the Free Association of Athletes of Belarus (SOS BY). The IIHF President proposes to hold talks with both Lukashenko and the opposition. In his reply, Fasel writes that he hopes that the dialogue with the government and the opposition will help to find opportunities for holding an “apolitical championship” in Minsk and Riga. In Belarus, however, sport has long been an element of the Lukashenko regime’s ideology. “I would like to point out that indeed for many years regime-sponsored hockey in Belarus has been an ideological sport. If you look at the administrative apparatus of the ice hockey federation, you will only see government officials and people close to Alexander Lukashenko. It’s really politics that has found its way into sport,” the famous basketball player writes in her reply to Fasel.
In response to Rene Fasel’s proposal to hold a dialogue with the participation of the government and the opposition, Leuchanka said that the Free Association of Athletes of Belarus is ready to hold a meeting, but “not in the format of a political dialogue, but in a business format. Together with the Belarusian Sports Solidarity Foundation, we are ready to bring you the essence of the problem faced by the people of Belarus, to tell you about torture, unprecedented repression and the struggle against all forms of dissent at all levels. We are ready to discuss constructive ways and solutions to transfer the 2021 World Ice Hockey Championship from Minsk, as well as provide any assistance in this.”
For more information on the events of 28 December 2020, please visit Infocenter Free Belarus 2020: