Tuesday 25 July 2017 | 11:50

Gennadz Maksak: Europe must react adequately to the events in Minsk

04.04.2017  |  Society   |  Piotr Kuchta,  EuroBelarus
Gennadz Maksak: Europe must react adequately to the events in Minsk Photo by Gennadz Veratsinski

A new wave of political repressions should make the EU return to tougher policy towards the Belarusian regime.

On the eve of March 25, the Steering Committee of the EaP Civil Society Forum on Mass Repressions in Belarus issued a statement, which called for "the authorities of Belarus to be tolerant, refrain from using violence and repressive measures against participants of the peaceful demonstration scheduled for March 25, 2017 in Minsk and other cities of the country, and also to be open to dialogue with peaceful demonstrators." As you know, the expectations were not justified: the rally was brutally dispersed, hundreds of people got arrested and some demonstrators were beaten up.

"As it turned out, despite the new stage of relations with the European Union, the official Minsk have not changed its approach to observing and respecting human rights," Gennadz Maksak, Ukrainian representative of the Steering Committee of the EaP Civil Society Forum, member of the Steering Committee of the Ukrainian National Platform of the EaP CSF stated in an interview with the "EuroBelarus" Information Service.

"The Civil Society Forum of the EaP was very concerned about the violation of human rights by Decree No. 3 itself, which is unconstitutional in the opinion of our Belarusian colleagues. The opinion that we share," – started Gennadz Maksak. - But in addition to the decree itself, it was clear that since February the number of human rights violations in Belarus began to increase. Then the situation simply escalated into violence towards protesters, representatives of the opposition and civil society. It can be argued that human rights violations in Belarus have become massive scale."

"As a representative of the Ukrainian National Platform, I can not help noting that Minsk draws my country into this conflict between the state and society as some sort of scarecrow," believes Gennadz Maksak. Let us recall, Alexander Lukashenka called Ukraine, Poland and Lithuania countries where Belarusian militants in special camps are trained to commit provocations in their homeland. "Camps for militants, a supposed breakthrough of a vehicle with explosives from Ukraine - we understand why the Belarusian regime does this, but we would really not want the Belarusian society to perceive Ukrainians as enemies or as people who do not care what happens in Belarus" , - emphasized Gennadz Maksak.

In the opinion of Gennadz Maksak, the March events should be followed by a "harsher reaction from the European institutions, including sharper criticism from the states accused of preparing destabilization of Belarus by the Belarusian propaganda." "The only reaction of our Ministry of Foreign Affairs so far has been refutation - I believe it's too soft, given the seriousness of the charges. And a new wave of political repressions should bring back the EU's tougher policy towards the Belarusian regime. Europe now can not act as if nothing had happened," - argued Gennadz Maksak.

According to the expert, the Ukrainian society follows the Belarusian events with great attention. "Belarus now becomes of great importance not only for the expert community, but also for ordinary citizens.  Particular attention is given to Belarus in the context of security problems: we have a common border. Regarding the protests: we perceive them as a novelty for your country. It's not even about the massive scale or the frequency of the rallies, but the mood of the participants. And we understand that it is not the opposition, it is actual popular discontent, which shows that the regime has made a mistake after all," Gennadz Maksak concluded.

Other news section «Society»

Sofia Sadovskaya: Parents do not understand why one needs contemporary Belarusan art
Sofia Sadovskaya: Parents do not understand why one needs contemporary Belarusan art
For the last five years, the Children's Creative Workshops (CCW) acquaints children with fine arts in a game form.
Larysa Bycko: Heritage can only be preserved together
Larysa Bycko: Heritage can only be preserved together
Many people came to the premiere of the play "Memory Shelter" to the village of Stuly in the Pruzany Rajon [District].
Zmicier Surski - We should pay tribute to the Belarusan poster
Zmicier Surski - We should pay tribute to the Belarusan poster
In 1991, poster artists from the Soviet Union sent 120 posters to the triennale in Japanese Tayama.
Oksana Gaiko - Our audio guide of Brest is a monument to Holocaust victims
Oksana Gaiko - Our audio guide of Brest is a monument to Holocaust victims
The center of Brest can now be studied with the help of an audio guide called Brest Stories Guide - however, meanwhile, only one of the city pages - anti-Semitism and the Holocaust.
To preserve heritage and to become valuable for each other
To preserve heritage and to become valuable for each other
On June, 16th, in the Minsk-based creative space CECH, the results of the work of the international program "CHOICE - Cultural Heritage - Opportunity for Civic Engagement" were presented.
Belarusan human rights defenders’ view on human rights activity and questions of cooperation
Belarusan human rights defenders’ view on human rights activity and questions of cooperation
We present a research results report of Belarusan human rights organizations sector.
Historical and Cultural Heritage and Its Substance
Historical and Cultural Heritage and Its Substance
Our expert in issues of forming identity on local visual codes, professional designer Michal Aniempadystau prepared a special report for our meeting in Brussels and further at a Belarusian discussion.
Social base of transformation programs in Belarus
Social base of transformation programs in Belarus
The Centre for European Transformation has prepared a sociological research report (abridged version) of social base of transformation programs in Belarus.
Opportunities for launching in Belarus the mechanisms to enjoyment of HR by persons with disabilitie
Opportunities for launching in Belarus the mechanisms to enjoyment of HR by persons with disabilitie
The Centre for European Transformation has prepared a research report of potential and opportunities for launching in Belarus the mechanisms to enjoyment of human rights by persons with disabilities.
Civil society’s role and place in the system of donor assistance to Belarus (2006-2014)
Civil society’s role and place in the system of donor assistance to Belarus (2006-2014)
The Centre for European Transformation has prepared a working paper on civil society’s role and place in the system of external assistance to Belarus in 2006-2014.
Final event of project CHOICE – Paving the way to European Year of Cultural Heritage 2018
Final event of project CHOICE – Paving the way to European Year of Cultural Heritage 2018
The final event of the two-year EU funded project “CHOICE - Cultural Heritage: Opportunity for Improving Civic Engagement” was held on 6 June at the Committee of the Regions, in Brussels.
Heritage is a verb. The results of the CHOICE project were summarized in Minsk (Photos and video)
Heritage is a verb. The results of the CHOICE project were summarized in Minsk (Photos and video)
Does Belarus need a “Public Ministry of Culture” and “Ašmiany Charter” to deal with the historical and cultural sites?
Aliaksei Chubat: "Singing gatherings" do not teach singing, but acquaint with the tradition
Aliaksei Chubat: "Singing gatherings" do not teach singing, but acquaint with the tradition
Organizer of singing workshops within the framework of the “CHOICE-Belarus: Legacy and modernity” project reflects on how one can build a bridge between museum and people.
Aliaksandr Tamkovich:If someone had said we would build a NPP I would have sent them to psychiatrist
Aliaksandr Tamkovich:If someone had said we would build a NPP I would have sent them to psychiatrist
On April 12 a "Chernobyl: Between Past and Future" discussion as well as a presentation of the German translation of the book "Philosophy of kindness. From disaster to garden of hope" took place.
Andrei Kazakevich: The protests will inevitably fade due to the lack of organization
Andrei Kazakevich: The protests will inevitably fade due to the lack of organization
Continuation of street actions requires logistics, planning, and thoughtful information support. The authorities, in turn, do everything possible to prevent organizing the protests.
Gennadz Maksak: Europe must react adequately to the events in Minsk
Gennadz Maksak: Europe must react adequately to the events in Minsk
A new wave of political repressions should make the EU return to tougher policy towards the Belarusian regime.
Nasta Loika: We returned to strict measures towards the dissentient
Nasta Loika: We returned to strict measures towards the dissentient
The Belarusian authorities violate human rights and the state obligations by suppressing  protests, violent arrests and sentences.
Uladzimir Matskevich: Regions can become the main threat for the Belarusian system
Uladzimir Matskevich: Regions can become the main threat for the Belarusian system
There are still no clear instructions from the center while the wave of protest is rolling out from Minsk across the country.
Experts: Cancer is no longer considered a verdict in Belarus
Experts: Cancer is no longer considered a verdict in Belarus
World Cancer Day is celebrated on February 4. What do the Belarusian know about the oncological diseases and what is their attitude towards them?
What is wrong with the academic freedoms and rights of students in Belarus?
What is wrong with the academic freedoms and rights of students in Belarus?
Minsk hosted a conference dedicated to the academic values ​​and the prospects for reforms of higher education in Belarus.
Gintautas Mažeikis: The relation of political field and arena in the framework of information war

In his report, philosopher Gintautas Mažeikis discusses several concepts that have been a part of the European social and philosophical thought for quite a time.

Belarusan human rights defenders’ view on human rights activity and questions of cooperation

We present a research results report of Belarusan human rights organizations sector.

Belarus's Lukashenko alleges “fifth column” plot as unrest continues

Belarusan President Lukashenko said on Tuesday a “fifth column” was plotting to overthrow him with the help of foreign-backed fighters, days before a planned street protest in Minsk against a new tax.

Historical and Cultural Heritage and Its Substance

Our expert in issues of forming identity on local visual codes, professional designer Michal Aniempadystau prepared a special report for our meeting in Brussels and further at a Belarusian discussion.