19 January 2018, Friday, 12:07

Genocide in Belarusian style

Activist and journalist Mikhail Kozel had to leave Belarus as a result of pressure from the KGB and the local authorities.

Mikhail Kozel, an activist and former editor of Volnya Naviny independent newspaper, sent an emotional letter to charter97.org.

“Dear journalists, members of human rights organisations, friends and former colleagues! I appeal to you asking to spread my open letter and appeal to the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights among a wide audience. The psychological pressure from the authorities, unveiled mockery from the KGB and their assistants made me stop my agricultural activity and leave my home. I know perfectly that political prisoners have harder conditions than I have. We are being humiliated. They are being tortured in jails. I am sure that I am not the only one who suffer. My appeal is not a publicity move or an attempt to show off. I don't need such things. I am not crying for help. I repeat that there are people who need help more than I need,” the opposition activist noted.

The activist stressed the local authorities, in particular the Turau city executive committee and the Zhytkavichy district executive committee under command of the KGB department in Petrykau, made him leave his home.

“They in fact illegally evict me from my house, though I had legal grounds to live there. It reminds me the anti-Jewish pogroms in Adolf Hitler's Germany. They now use not officials and police officers for mockery, but neighbours and other people. These are the people hired by the security services, like those who broke windows in the House of Government in Minsk on December 19, 2010. The Belarusian security services had been mocking me systematically for five years not allowing me to have a normal life,” the journalist said.

Mikhail Kozel thinks he met revenge for his refusal to collaborate with the security service and become an informing agent in the democratic opposition. He has received proposals to collaborate with the KGB since 2007.

“Amid permanent pressure from the official authorities and the volunteers hired by them I had to leave my home and the Republic of Belarus having reasonable grounds to fear persecution in any place under the jurisdiction of the Belarusian authorities. In this regard, I apply to United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights for taking me under protection of international law as a person without citizenship after the expulsion from my home country by the official authorities,” he wrote.