22 February 2020, Saturday, 10:51
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February 17 – Outraged Belarusians’ March

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February 17 – Outraged Belarusians’ March
PHOTO: EPA

The Belarusian National Congress is holding the action of protest against the “social parasites” decree, at 6 p.m. on February 17.

This is stated in the message of the BNC Council, received by the editor’s office of the Charter97.org website.

In the recent years, Lukashenka’s regime has been trying to save the budget with the help of new exactions instead of reformation. The tariffs for communal services are raised with no justified excuse. The taxes for the individual entrepreneurs are growing. Adoption of the Decree #3 “On Prevention of Social Dependence”, which imposed yet another burden on the people, has become the critical point.

The Belarusians have been receiving letters with demand they should pay the tax amounting to Bn 360 for several months. Moreover, over 400 thousand of citizens have been unfairly listed as “social parasites”.

The anti-people and anti-constitutional decree affected almost every family. The authorities consider housewives who look after children, former students, military men and other citizens who cannot find a job according to their specialty, also the countrymen who are forced to earn money abroad as there is no way they could do it here, as “social parasites”.

The decree in fact introduces a new form of forcible labour under the threat of punishment. It does not only break Article 41 of the Constitution of the Republic of Belarus and the international legal acts, ratified by the Republic of Belarus (Convention #105 “On the Elimination of Forcible Labour”), but manipulates with terms, deviates the real situation and deliberately deceives the citizens regarding their “non-participation” in financing of the state expenses.

The Council of the Belarusian National Congress:

- expresses its solidarity with the citizens of Belarus, who have been affected by the anti-popular Decree #3, Decree #137 and other illegal acts and demands the authorities to immediately cancel them. Instead of coming up with new levies of their own people, they should conduct economic reforms and create jobs;

- supports the initiative of the Belarusian Independent Trade Union of Radio-Electronic Industry Workers to collect signatures against the Decree #3, which started on January 17, and joins it. We encourage other organizations and citizens of the country to support this campaign.

- calls on for holding the Outraged Belarusians March on February 17, exactly one month after the beginning of the collection of signatures. The action will start at 6 p.m. in the Kastrychnitskaya Square in Minsk.