22 October 2017, Sunday, 16:26

More Than Two Thousand Belarusians Signed Up For Raukou’s Resignation In One Day

ANDREI RAUKOU

Homel human rights activists collect signatures for the resignation of the defense minister of Belarus.

Homel human rights defenders demand thorough investigation of the criminal case on the hanging of conscript Aliaksandr Korzhych in the training unit in Pechy and the resignation of the defense minister of Belarus.

"A terrible tragedy that occurred in one of the military units in Pechy cannot leave any Belarusian indifferent," – the authors of the petition "Stop Arbitrariness in the Army – Protest Against Hazing" believe.

On October 3 this year, 21-year-old Pinsk resident Aliaksandr Korzhych, called up on May 18, was found hanged with fastened legs in the basement of the military unit. "Sasha was found hanged, he had a T-shirt on his head, his legs were fastened. This is their ritual – it's called a "dog's death". The soldier who discovered him was immediately sent to the psychiatric hospital in Navinki, probably so that he could not give testimony," – the soldier's mother says.

The mother recalls that on July 3, on Independence Day, she was in the unit and everyone said that it was very difficult in Pechy. Today all the independent media are talking about the "lawlessness" in this military unit. The Ministry of Defense does not demand any refutation of the information submitted by the press.

This egregious case is yet another confirmation of the established practice, when hazing in the armed forces is not stopped by the military unit officials.

"The official authorities convince us that there is no hazing in the Belarusian army. The tragedy with the young soldier proves the opposite – "hazing" not only continues its victorious march in the Belarusian army, it has actually turned into torture and led to the murder. The society does not believe that the command of the military unit is not aware of this," – human rights activist Leanid Sudalenka says.

"All of us, citizens of the Republic of Belarus, cannot but care about the question: what the commander of the military unit in particular, and the higher command of the Belarusian army in general, do to stop hazing.

Let’s show our solidarity and sign the appeal to the Minister of Defense with the demand to resign," – the authors of the petition say.

The petition can be signed here.