20 August 2018, Monday, 22:09
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Andrei Sannikov: Activity Of Yakubovich, Davydzka, Kaziyatka Falls Under Criminal Code Articles

19
ANDREI SANNIKOV

"Editor-in-Chief" of the Hitler times Streicher was sentenced by the Nuremberg Trials.

Leader of the "European Belarus" civil campaign Andrei Sannikov commented upon the dismissal of most notorious propagandists Pavel Yakubovich, Henadz Davydzka and Yury Kaziyatka, in an interview for Charter97.org.

- Many versions have already been voiced to explain why Lukashenka fired all of his main propagandists. What do you link these dismissals with?

- It's a useless thing to comment upon resignations within the framework of the Lukashenka regime. No matter how you shuffle this deck, all the cards in it remain crimped. Some sort of a struggle between certain groups and groupings is going on, but the essence of the regime doesn't change from it. The fired triplet have been battered a bit, the dictator got tired of them and replaced them. The dictator entertains himself like this, creates an occasion for rumours and gossip. This is also a peculiar instrument to retain power. In this case, everything is crystal clear: a bunch of odious propagandists have been replaced with other ones, as odious but more controlled.

- Are these dismissals connected with the blocking of Charter'97 in Belarus?

- Of course, they are connected. When significant events occur simultaneously in the media space of Belarus, this cannot be a coincidence. It can be safely asserted that the three propagandists lost their positions as a result of the blocking of Charter. Maybe they expected more zeal in the attacks on this website, maybe they contributed to the decision on the blocking, which only caused more problems to the regime. In any case, they have lost and are still losing competition with the free media, in this case with Charter, and this is not what Lukashenka needs. He has allocated huge money for propaganda, but received no results.

- Can you provide your assessment of the activity of Yakubovich, Davydzka and Kaziyatka as heads of big state media?

- The mentioned figures have been successful in ratting out the opposition, independent media, human rights defenders and the likes. Kaziyatka is also notable for his enforced activity in bullying Vasil Bykau, shortly before the death of the famous writer. This is what he will be remembered for.

Yakubovich and Davydzka worked as departments of special services, especially during acute political campaigns. It was them who slandered the arrested participants in the protests, and the accusatory materials fabricated by the KGB were published before they reached the courts. Their activities certainly fall under the articles of the Criminal Code.

These are some Juliuses Streichers of the Lukashenka times. There was such Editor-in-Chief at Hitler times, the only military criminal who was sentenced by the Nuremberg Trials and executed after he had been found guilty exclusively for the printed propaganda, not for real participation in decision-taking related to war and genocide.

Under dictatorship, such editors are protected only by the regime, not the law. No one abolished the Criminal Code, let alone the international law.

Besides, I have noticed that Yakubovich is actively testifying already, using the independent press for this.

- What should we expect in the future?

- This is a serious question. Two of these events are indicative here: the blocking of the Charter and the resignation of propagandists - and the reaction of independent media to them. We must admit that in our media sphere the "gag orders" are in full swing. This term, which appeared in Ukraine under President Kuchma, means closed instructions for the media on how and what to write about. Otherwise, it is difficult to explain the sluggish journalistic reaction to the blocking of an independent website and obvious sympathies for the retired and appointed propagandists. Apparently, the corresponding "gag orders" came.

I do not want to blame or criticize anyone, I just want to say that today, perhaps, the most crucial moment for the independent press has come. At stake is our freedom and our independence. And for these basic values there can be no compromise. Do not look for the glimpses of understanding of these values in the Lukashenka regime. It's better to call things by their own names, which is the task of the independent press. Then we will remain independent and achieve freedom.