21 October 2018, Sunday, 1:16
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Time to Defend Yourself

Iryna Khalip

Hazing goes into every house.

This is not life, it's Orwell's "Animal Farm" which happens in Orwell's "1984", if anyone has not got it yet. If you stay at home screwing up your eyes and having ears shut - it can be bearable. But it's enough to go outdoors or to turn on computer, or to meet an acquaintance - Orwell is reborn and blossoms like a peony under the rays of the morning sun.

I met an acquaintance who used to work in the Ministry of Defense for many years.

- Why are you so concerned about this soldier in Pechy?" he wonders. - Do you know how many such cases occur? Ten a penny! Hazing was, is and will be.

A friend drops into me, her son has recently served in the army. She tells the way he was treated and made to say a hundred times: "Comrade nightstand, let me pass by!" And they all laughed. And it was a light version of hazing. Only "comrade nightstand".

I drop into a cafe of my friend to learn news. He tells that all owners of "trading points" in the center had a call from the City Executive Committee and were demanded to come: "The prosecutor will speak before you." Some people went there, they thought it would be some kind of a show. But instead of the dancing prosecutor they were informed that now the owners of the establishments in the center of the city would have to pay five percent of profit to the state, and foreigners 25 percent (investors - welcome to Belarus!) for spoiling of historical buildings. The Executive Committee somehow forgot that owners plant flowers near their establishments, cut grass, and clean garbage, and adorn the surrounding territory.

I learn from the feed on social networks that Volha Mikalaichyk is selling her house to pay off the state for participation in protest actions. It turns out that the documentary film director, who has not ever worked in a public administration, and therefore, she did not take bribes, did not plunder, did not steal, did not rob. Now she owes the state more than eight thousand dollars. She will sell her mother's house, pay off with the state and leaves for a village. Or for Ukraine. And still will arrive (or come) to protest actions.

Orwell's news grows like a snowball. A friend of mine, a brilliant surgeon who saves children, the state hospital does not extend the contract because after the birth of the fourth child he temporarily refuses night watches. A friend is denied a pension because she took care of her mother for many years and did not meet her insurance record. A disabled friend is whispered by a doctor to buy an expensive imported medicine, because the domestic one causes a hair loss and other things, and the state provides disabled people only with medicines that cause a hair loss.

However, Belarusians will soon lose their hair without any medicines, as well as have their eyes open wide. Every day brings a new "mockery" on the part of the state. Are you a Belarusian? Then be ready not to have a job, a salary, a pension, a freedom, rights, a life in general. You'll waste your time as thousands of fellow citizen to prove you're not a sponger. You'll waste your nerves in courts like a wheelchair person, the head of the office for the rights of people with disabilities, Siarhei Drazdouski, who was tried to evict from a dormitory. You'll spend money on bribes to the military commissar to get your son deferred from service. You will humble yourself in front of a prison guard, so that you could parcel the food for a relative, and he will mock to let you know that he is the boss, and you, the Belarusian, are a piece of shit. You'll be in prison after being shot at by a policeman in your own apartment. Finally, you will commit suicide in the basement unable to withstand the state hazing; if you are not killed earlier.

The state hazing does not necessarily come to you in the form of sergeant-cattle. It can have any appearance: a sergeant, a military commissar, a bailiff, a duty officer, a woman from an executive committee, a sanitary inspection, an inspector of guardianship, a riot policeman, a watchman, a KGB officer. Or have an image of them all. But it will come to everyone, be sure.

Are you still not goinf to defend yourself? Then they go to you.

Iryna Khalip for Charter97.org