20 July 2019, Saturday, 9:10
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Leanid Sudalenka: Those Not Expecting It May Be Branded As "Parasites"

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We need to fight the decree together.

Mother of four children from Homel, Yulia Hanisseuskaya, received an official notification of her enrolment in the "parasite" database. It is noteworthy that a form teacher delivered the letter. And the principal confirmed that, teachers had to deliver letters to citizens recognized as "unemployed in the economy".

Leanid Sudalenka, the legal inspector of labour of the Independent Trade Union of Radio and Electronic Industry (REP), comments on the situation.

- According to Decree No. 1, a mother with many children under seven years should not be added to the database of "the unemployed in the economy". Why did Homel officials take such actions?

- You know, the revived decree on "parasites", as before, has counted half a million people, allegedly not employed in the economy. That is, the authorities have developed a new decree, but the database of 2017 is not updated. That's why the "new" database includes all the people who were there in 2017.

The whole thing will be clear as soon as February utility bill is received. Some "parasites" will be surprised to find themselves in the list, though they should not.

Think over the absurd situation: since this January 1 the decree on "parasites" has come into force. The database should have already been prepared to charge the increased utility.

In February we're about to learn many new things. I think that regular soldiers are also added to the list, as well as those who study or work abroad... I may only guess who else can receive utility bills offering to pay them threefold or fivefold!

The case of Yulia Haniseuskaya speaks volumes about the situation around Decree No. 1. Having the child under 7 years old, she should be invisible for the "parasite" commission. Nevertheless, the schoolteacher of her children brings the notification letter about listing her as an unemployed in the economy with all consequences. It may happen to many Belarusians, who think that they do not get into trouble this time.

- What is your piece of advice to those who will receive such "notices"?

- If I were Yulia Haniseuskaya, I would file a lawsuit against the "parasite commission". Including claims of moral nature. Belarusians have the right to demand compensation for moral harm.

Officials - members of commissions - will not be able to say they did not know. The state knows too much about us: what we eat for breakfast, lunch and dinner, not to mention that a large family has a child under age of seven.

The second key point is that the presumption of innocence has been violated with regard to Yulia Haniseuskaya. Why is a law-abiding person forced to prove what he or she does not have to prove? No Belarusian has to prove that he is not a "parasite".

Meanwhile, a month from now, many people will find out that their "utility bills" have become noticeably heavier. So, beyond expectations, they are added to the database. The utility and housing service will only make a helpless gesture and the increased tariff rates will remain.

Of course, one has to fight the decree on "parasites". And the first step is to sue "parasite" commissions. There are enough reasons to initiate a lawsuit against them.

We should fight an illegal decree together. And it requires a prompt response, as soon as you see that your rights are being violated. As it was done by the "parasite" from Brahin Uladzimir Tseremetski.

The commission summoned him to the local Executive Committee to "confirm" his employment in the economy. The man ignored it. Now he is waiting for new prices for housing and communal services. He demanded to remove his data from the database and to check the validity of the decree on "parasites".

- Homel resident also stated that she would not collect documents and would not go to the Executive Committee. Will you help her if it comes to trial?

- Yes. Both the REP trade union and I will help everyone who rejects the fact that he or she has been added to the "parasite" list and starts standing for his or her rights.

You must remember that whenever you challenge the legality of the decree, you help not only yourself, but also other citizens. The more people unite to stop this "parasite" decree or abolish it, the better. After all, it will affect not only those who meet the formal criteria of a "parasite". We already witness people who are enlisted believing they should not. Such precedents will be multiplied, and then January utility bill is received.

After all, Labour Minister Iryna Kastsevich said that the database would be updated. So far, we can say they use the database of 2017 and have enlisted many people who should not be there even by their laws. And we can only guess what comes later.

Therefore, I'd like to say to those who have already been called a "parasite", and to those who will learn about it in February: don't give up. If you can't solve the problem on your own, please contact those who have experience of fighting this lawlessness.

I, the "lawyer of parasites," call on you: not a step back, we will fight the decree together.