Human Rights Defenders for Free Elections

Праваабарончы цэнтр «Вясна» беларускі хельсінкскі камітэт


Sporava: villagers warn Aliaksandr Lukashenka they won't participate in elections

According to the residents of the village of Sporava (the Biaroza district), they believe neither to the local, nor to the district, nor to the regional and not even to the national authorities. They've been struggling for the return of their lake, lent to a businessman in 2014. The last instance is Aliaksandr Lukashenka, and the villages threat to refuse from taking part in the elections unless he takes an objective decision in their case.

The conflict arose after the lake Sporauskaje was rented by by an entrepreneur from Baranavičy, Anatol Zablotski. After that, the villagers and their children were prohibited to come to the lake at all. The entrepreneur also constructed a cottage at the site of an archaeological monument, “protected by the state”. He ordered some scientific examination at his own expense, and the Academy of Sciences gave the conclusion that there wasn't any ancient camp site in that place, just a plot of land that could be washed out by water from the lake. The businessman also destroyed a monument to the guerrillas who fought against the Nazi during the Second World War, as it prevented the future construction of a cafe near the place. The authorities gave him the permission for that.

According to the villagers, the police, prosecutors and local authorities side with Zablotski. At a recent assembly he boasted of having high-rank friends. The law-enforcement agencies also ignore the fact that while taking part in the contest for the rent of the lake in 2014 he presented the documents that were dated 2011, while about 30 persons of the 300 (who had given permission to rent the lake) have died for this time.

The people don't see any sense to take part in the elections in this situation, because the laws don't work and don't protect ordinary people and their rights.

"Human Rights Defenders for Free Elections"