14 December 2018, Friday, 21:19
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Zmitser Bandarenka: The Authorities Themselves Foment Conflict In Kurapaty

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Zmitser Bandarenka

Belarusian officials are to blame for unwillingness to resolve the issue.

Coordinator of European Belarus civil campaign Zmitser Bandarenka told in the interview to Charter97.org.

- You were among those who defended Kurapaty in 2001-2002. Why is this issue urgent again?

- Unfortunately, the story repeats itself. The reason for it is that no historical conclusions are made. We know that in the Soviet times and later in the first yeas of independent Belarus it was proved that people executed by the NKVD were buried in Kurapaty.

However, Lukashenka tried to "refute" it several times and ordered to "deal with" it - whether they were fascists or not who killed people there.

Although historians proved facts of mass destruction of Soviet citizens, we can observe Minister of Internal Affairs of Belarus wearing the NKVD uniform.

Apologists of the Russian world repeat: "Can repeat, if needed". This is a clear signal to the world, first of all, to citizens of Belarus, that the leadership of our country will repeat executions, if needed. Moreover, Belarus is the only country in Europe with the death penalty and the execution of its own citizens is practiced sometimes.

Perhaps, this is the main reason why conflicts around the people's memorial sometimes foment in Kurapaty.

- What is the peculiarity of today's situation and today's conflict in Kurapaty?

- We can see that the authorities are those to foment the conflict.

It's indicative that a few years ago the General Prosecutor's Office found that the construction of restaurant called "Bulbash-Hall" was illegal.

Nevertheless, the restaurant was built under a new name.

It's obvious that the authorities are to blame: it could be the decision from the top, or a corruption scheme. And it has caused the conflict.

The majority of moral authorities of Belarus say that such establishment is unacceptable in Kurapaty.

Therefore, the authorities should decide to close this establishment in order to use the buildings as intended - to make them a part of the museum or memorial.

If the authorities believe that the construction was legal, then businessmen, owners of this property should be compensated their expenses.

And if the construction was illegal, the authorities should deal with officials: who authorized the illegal work of this entertainment establishment.

And then to drop the curtain.

- It's better to treat the cause of the decease than symptoms. What do you think the defence strategy of Kurapaty should rely on?

- I've already told that it is needed to change the power in Belarus. It's not only the reason, but also the threat of recurrence of a terrible tragedy.

Moreover, we can observe the strengthening of the totalitarism in Belarus. Infamous out-of-court "troika" who decide people's fates appear.

I think that it's necessary to attact attention of the Belarusians society to the problem. The attention of international community, foreign diplomats, human rights organizations, foreign media to the things in Belarus is required.

Of course, these brave people who risk their freedom and health and come to Kurapaty trying to close the scandalous establishment near the people's memorial need support. And if there are brave people in Belarus who want to make a difference and who believe that Belarusians have dignity, they must come to support activists in Kurapaty.

It's needed to respect ourselves as people, Christians.