21 May 2019, Tuesday, 7:17
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Activist Of ‘Our Right’ Initiative Asks Tough-Talk Questions To Lukashenka

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LIYANA SHUBA

The mother of the drug convict criticized the dictator in an open appeal.

Zhlobin resident Liyana Shuba, the activist of the “Our Right” initiative (the organization unites the relatives of those convicted under drug-related articles) addressed to Lukashenka with an open letter, in which she criticized the statements of the Belarusian ruler, Homel Spring reports.

Liyana Shuba is the mother of Aliaksandr Shuba, convicted to 9 years in prison for drugs (Article 328 of the Criminal Code of Belarus). She actively struggles for changes in the legislation in relation to drug trafficking, took part in a hunger strike of a protest of relatives of those convicted for drugs in April 2018.

“More than once the relatives of those convicted for drugs appealed to you with a request for a meeting, personally and jointly. We have received refusals from your administration with unfailing regularity. That is why I decided to address to you in the internet.

You said “There will be no amnesty for drugs”. In the appeal to the “National Assembly” and the people of the country you stressed that the majority of crimes are committed by the people under the influence of alcohol and drugs: “This is a disaster on our roads. Every drug user has two cars, especially those who produce and distribute drugs. These are not poor people. They sniff, inject drugs – and go driving, commiting crimes. People died.”

There are about 9 thousand officially registered drug addicts in the country. According to narcologists, drug addiction is a latent phenomenon. This figure should be multiplied by 10 to imagine the scale of the problem. That is, 90 thousand drug addicts. The question is: how does a drug addict get a driver’s license, how do they go through a regular physical examination for drivers? Do you suspect doctors and traffic police officers of incompetence? How do they allow the situation that a car fleet of 90 thousand cars is driven by the people who have sniffed or injected drugs and gone driving around the roads of our country? And one more question, have you taken a look at the road accident statistics? Sorry, I didn’t find anything fresher than 2017.

I will continue. Here are some more of your words about drug addicts: “I am not speaking about the genetic pool: who will be born, who will raise these kids, treat them? Do you realize how big this layer is?”

You said 4 years ago that the convicts under Article 328 should “beg for death”, and now you are convincing the society that they indeed must die, in order not to bring addled children to this world, God forbids. What about our perfect penitentiary system? It corrects people so well! The penal colonies, or rather, correctional colonies, provide such decent conditions for living, labor, education and self-development of prisoners. The Department of Corrections shares the experience of correcting criminals with the foreign colleagues. It will manage to correct our junkies, too, for 10 years, isn’t it so? Or do you question the competence of the officers of the Department of Corrections? Why do we need this Department then?

Or maybe you don’t doubt them? Then don’t take the functions of the God on you. This is His, the God’s, plan, whether somebody should have children, and what these children should be like. Because every child – EVERY CHILD – in our blue-eyed state attends nursery school, kindergarden, school or grammar school, lyceum or college, hobby group or section, art school or hiking group. Meanwhile, their parents bake bread, cast steel, uncover and correct criminals, drive trains, extinguish fires, sew uniforms to law enforcement officers, milk cows, collect MAZ vehicles, make films, build houses. Not all parents have the opportunity, as you do – to take a child with them even on working trips. Therefore, all parents, in good faith performing their professional duties, hope that while they are at work, the professionals whom they entrusted their child are also conscientious.

Drug addiction is a problem not for a single family, but for all of us, the whole society, all Belarusians. And it can be solved only by the whole world, and not by your decree number 6 alone, sorry for the audacity.

You are saying: “He (Ihar Shunevich, the Minister of the Interior) controls the implementation of our decisions, he says it is necessary to get back and discuss the theme of drug users. However, those who produce and distribute are total villains, it seems unlikely that there will be any sort of mitigation. However, let’s cross that bridge when we get to it. We will discuss this issue in the near future.” So, the question is – when? When will this near future come? The relatives of the drug convicts have been trying for nearly 4 years to draw your attention, as well as the attention of Shunevich, the society, to the fact that for the last 6 years we, in the name of the Republic of Belarus, sentenced for drugs about 19 thousand people (this is the statistics of the Supreme Court). It may seem, all the druglords are jailed. But the problem is, the quantity of drugs withdrawn from circulation is growing every year (this is the statistics of the MIA). It means, not those who produce and deliver are jailed. While we were praising ourselves, like, we’ve jailed all drug dealers, the children of the 1990s, the new generation grew up, the children of the 2000s. Do they face the same destiny? Will we jail another generation?

It is time to change the methods of combating drug addiction. It's time to change the law. It's time to mitigate the punishment. It's time to open new rehabilitation centers, not new colonies. It is time to review the sentences, not build palaces for the Supreme Court. With this money, it would be possible to rehabilitate thousands of drug addicts or provide our transparent borders with the Russian Federation with at least dog handlers with service dogs. Does the amount of drugs withdrawn from circulation in the first quarter of the current year, 880 kg, scare you? It scares me.

We are wasting time. It is necessary to deal with the importation of drugs, and not with drug addicts, with causes, not with consequences. So say narcologists. Listen to the opinions of professionals. So we say, the relatives of those convicted for drug trafficking. Listen to the opinion of the people.”