18 June 2019, Tuesday, 10:57
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In Minsk, BAOC Father Vikentsi Awarded Medal For Heroic Deed

PHOTO: TATSIANA ULASENKA/BELSAT.EU

Father Vikentsi received a medal named after the famous Belarusian dissident Siarhei Khanzhankou.

The award was established by the Razam solidarity movement and is awarded on March 13 – the birthday of well-known Belarusian dissident Siarhei Khanzhankou.

Father Vikentsi, a priest of the Belarusian Autocephalous Church, has been solemnly awarded the medal named after Siarhei Khanzhankou “For the Heroic Deed”, Belsat reports

PHOTO: TATSIANA ULASENKA / BELSAT.EU

“For the heroic rite, as his ministry as a priest in today's conditions is real heroism. He’s a hieromonk of the church, which today's government does not profess for political reasons. The priest who goes ahead of the column both on Freedom Day and during the Chernobylski Shliakh. A priest who is illegally arrested,” – such words were heard during the award ceremony.

PHOTO: TATSIANA ULASENKA / BELSAT.EU

The winner is determined by a commission of 15 people, which includes well-known cultural and public figures: Yury Khashchavatski, Ales Tamkovich, Uladzimir Khalip, Valer Mazynski, Aliaksei Marachkin and others.

Today, during the party, letters of thanks were also received in absentia by Pavel Seviarynets and Dzmitry Dashkevich, who at the time of the award presentation were on guard at the Let's Go Get Some Eats Restaurant.

PHOTO: TATSIANA ULASENKA / BELSAT.EU

The author of the medal is the Minsk sculptor Henik Loika. In 2017, activist Siarhei Palcheuski became the first laureate of the award for the defense of Kurapaty. In 2018, social activist, pensioner Nina Bahinskaya received the medal. In 2017, after the arrest of dozens of activists in the White Legion case, she was coming to the KGB building daily, organizing one-person pickets. Every day, she was detained and taken to the ROVD.

PHOTO: TATSIANA ULASENKA / BELSAT.EU

Who is Siarhei Khanzhankou ?

This is a famous Belarusian dissident and activist. As a student, Khanzhankou created a youth anti-communist organization that had a Charter and a program of activities. Together with his like-minded people, he was going to blow up the Minsk tower, which jammed Western radio broadcasts. In 1963, the Soviet special agencies arrested him for “a sabotage attempt” and “anti-Soviet agitation and propaganda.” Khanzhankou was sentenced to 10 years in prison and was transferred to the Mordovian penal camp – the only Soviet camp for political prisoners at that time. There he met famous prisoners: Balis Gayauskas, Yury Shukhevich, writers Andrei Siniauski and Yuli Daniel.

Khanzhankou did not ask for pardon and was released only in 1973. He was not rehabilitated and he never sought rehabilitation. After he was released, he continued his public activities, became a member of the Razam solidarity movement, took part in numerous actions, rallies and processions.