Pavel Latushka urged Belarusians to take to the streets; Denmark renamed Belarus; Belarusian courts: 15 days in jail for hearts on the window, 2 years in prison for applause
19 March 2021 | Voice of Belarus
Denmark renamed Belarus
From now on, the Danish Foreign Ministry will use the name Belarus instead of Hviderusland (White Russia). This is largely due to the efforts of the Belarusian diaspora. “We are doing this at the request of the residents of this Eastern European country, but it should also be viewed as moral support for peaceful protests in Belarus,” said Danish Foreign Minister Jeppe Kofod. “Don’t underestimate the support that can be provided with a name change. People appreciate this because it is about identity, national originality and respect.”
Pavel Latushka urged Belarusians to take to the streets
The head of the National Anti-Crisis Management, Pavel Latushka, appealed to the Belarusians to come out to the protests on 25 March, the Freedom Day. “On 25 March we begin a protest spring all over the country – the spring of our liberation! We are announcing the Pulse of Our Will campaign,” Latushka said. The action will consist of two key stages: preparation for the Freedom Day of Belarusian residential courtyards as well as street actions scheduled to take place on the Freedom Day.
Israeli company Cellebrite will no longer sell technology for hacking phones in Belarus
The Israeli company Cellebrite, which produces software systems for special services to extract data from mobile phones, has decided to stop the sale of technologies to Russia and Belarus. The company made this statement following accusations by human rights defenders that its products were used to target opposition and minorities. Dev.by found applications from the Investigative Committee and the Forensic Expertise Committee of Belarus dating back to 2019 for the purchase of the UFED system, renewal of licenses, technical support, and more.
15 days for hearts on the window, 2 years in prison for applause, 1.5 years for dancing in front of the riot police
Tatsiana Zagarets was convicted for allegedly shouting “Long live Belarus” from the window of her own apartment on the eighth floor. The punishment is a fine of 870 BYN (335 USD). Tatsiana herself claims that she was not in the apartment at that time.
A 52-year-old resident of Minsk, the father of two minor children, Ihar Lemeshau, was sentenced to 15 days of arrest for white-red-white hearts on the window in the nursery. In court, Lemeshau explained that he had carved snowflakes and hearts with his children even before the New Year. After the holidays, the snowflakes were removed from the windows, yet the family decided to leave the hearts.
The Zavadzki District Court of Minsk sentenced 23-year-old engineer Mikita Kachur to four years of open prison. On the evening of 11 August 2020, Mikita drove his new motorcycle to his brother’s house to celebrate the purchase together. He was stopped by traffic police officers who demanded to see his documents and belongings on the subject of involvement in the protests. After Mikita asked the police officers to show their IDs, they pulled him off the motorcycle, threw him to the ground, beat him with truncheons and took him to the police department. Later, a criminal case was brought up against Mikita because he allegedly resisted the arrest and tore a shirt of one of the security officials.
On 19 March, the Kastrychnitski District Court sentenced Sviatlana Bratsiankova to two years of open prison for taking an active part in three peaceful rallies, where she loudly clapped her hands and went out onto the road.
The court sentenced the Hrodna musician Ihar Bantser to one and a half years of open prison. He is accused of hooliganism for a street performance in the night of 4–5 September 2020, when he was dancing in pink shorts and then in a thong in front of a police car. During the first hearing of his case, the musician announced a dry hunger strike, which he held for 16 days, as he considers his case to be “politically motivated”. Today, Bantser was temporarily released on his own recognisance.