19 September 2021, Sunday, 20:05
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Harry Pahanyaila: The Belarusian Regime Will Face Serious Consequences Due to the Situation with Tsimanouskaya

Harry Pahanyaila: The Belarusian Regime Will Face Serious Consequences Due to the Situation with Tsimanouskaya

There are several mechanisms for punishing the dictator.

Recently, representatives of the Belarusian Olympic team tried to forcibly take Krystsina Tsimanouskaya out of Tokyo for her statements about the sports authorities.

The website Charter97.org asked the chairman of the legal commission of the Republic of Poland, the Belarusian Helsinki Committee, Harry Pahanyaila, to comment on the situation:

- I assess the situation extremely negatively both as a lawyer and as an athlete in the past - a member of the youth national team of the Republic of Belarus in classical wrestling (now Greco-Roman). The point is that, against Krystsina's will, sports officials wanted to transport her from the Olympic village to Tokyo, where she was declared a participant in the 100 and 200-meter race for the Belarusian Olympic team. But, according to the athlete, due to the mistakes of the coaches and leaders of the federation, those who were responsible for the training of athletes could not staff the participants in the 400-meter relay. They offered her to participate, but she refused since she was not prepared for this discipline. The situation is clearly conflicting and created through no fault of Tsimanouskaya. But disobedience, "failure to comply with the orders of the authorities" was perceived as a riot on the ship.

Of course, both in form and in content, this is a gross violation of the respectful, I would say, reverent attitude towards a talented athlete who has achieved, through incredibly hard work and efforts, participation in the Olympic Games and the opportunity to win the highest award in sports, of course, not without the help of coaches and the state. This is the ultimate dream of every real athlete. And what happened to her - suspension from the competition, expulsion from the national team, forcible sending to Minsk under the protection of unknown people, awareness of the impending catastrophe, anyone could lead to a nervous breakdown. You can't do that to people. This is not just inhuman and vile, but also criminal. Such actions in the language of criminal law can be qualified as imprisonment, abduction of a person against his will and desire. Krystsina understood what was happening and was afraid of reprisals not only in relation to herself but also to those close to her.

I can remind you that in the early 2000s, the Ambassador of the Republic of Belarus to Japan, Piotr Krauchanka, was "guilty" of something, as it seemed to the country's leadership. At a permanent seminar of leading officials of republican and local bodies “on improving ideological work,” Lukashenka said the following phrase to the ambassador to Japan: “Forgive me for my frankness, I already give special services instructions to abduct and bring to the country.” What is it: to put a bag on his head, abduct, bring a person from across the sea, and throw at the feet of the ruler? Thank God, that didn't happen. But you can imagine that such intentions, such "orders" were given.

We have all repeatedly witnessed such "public flogging" on Belarusian television when he trampled gray-haired and younger ministers, heads of enterprises, officials with a rank lower than "the owner of all Belarus" into the mud, threatened to throw them on the bunks, addressed everyone disrespectfully, humiliated, and insulted them as the last scoundrels, incapable of anything. And, in this case, the threats have already sounded. Obviously, a failure at the Olympics will cost dearly our sports officials and the athletes themselves. It is in such an atmosphere that cadres are brought up, but this is how they behave with other subordinates, with people dependent on their will and whims.

What is this behavior of officials who decided to carry out such an order? I am extremely outraged by the situation and join the assessments that have already been expressed in many media outlets.

- The Belarusian Sports Solidarity Fund said that the decision to withdraw Tsimanouskaya from the Olympics was made by Lukashenka. How adequate is this decision of the usurper?

- I cannot exclude such behavior of the “master of all Belarus.” He himself was the chairman of the NOC, then transferred these powers to his son, when the IOC claimed that there could not be such a combination - the head of state and the NOC. Such a combination is, of course, contrary to the Olympic Charter and all practices in the Olympic movement. Therefore, I do not exclude that Lukashenka did this, considering the athletes as his personal fiefdom: he supports them, feeds them, so to speak, from his own hand, gives them scholarships, bonuses, affordable housing to those who distinguished themselves and won medals.

This behavior is perceived extremely negatively by both athletes and society. And it is clear that many athletes are in an extremely difficult, humiliating situation. Yes, many of them are kissed by God, yes, they are carefully selected. They get into the national teams in accordance with the results achieved, they are looked after by both coaches and state sports officials. However, moral and material support from the state is one thing, and another is when it becomes a personal fiefdom, athletes are essentially slaves to their master.

Recently, we all again witnessed how Lukashenka chastised officials of sports federations, athletes, and their wives, who often accompany their husbands to international competitions outside the country. This all shows that this high-ranking bureaucrat treats people like some kind of cattle to whom he can order anything, whom he can command. Such manifestations of inhuman and derogatory attitudes towards people are demonstrated at every step, and I am personally disgusted with him.

An inhuman regime has been created in Belarus, which today many people observe both in the country and abroad. It was formed a long time ago. I have been living in this world for quite a long time, and I remember how it was formed. As the director of the state farm, in his younger years, he sometimes beat his subordinates (two criminal cases were initiated against him for beating workers of the Haradets state farm). Everything ended well for him, he did not bear the responsibility established by law.

The then former prosecutor of the Shklou region, Bozhelka, terminated all these cases. This happened when Lukashenka, with exorbitant ambitions, first became a deputy to the Supreme Soviet of the 12th convocation and then a presidential candidate of the Republic of Belarus in 1994. Apparently, such a rude, uncouth, I'm not afraid to say it, bestial habit of humiliating people formed in him a long time ago. Probably, psychologists could find the reasons for this in the difficulties of childhood, adolescence, youth, mentioned by him, when his character and base inclinations were formed - vindictiveness, excessive rudeness, incessant lies, arrogance, and other vices demonstrated by him. Sometimes he tries to be someone else in public, but, nevertheless, his bad manners just rush out of him. This is an eternal addressing "ty" (informal "you" in Russian) in relation to everyone, regardless of rank, age, or any merits to society and the state, a mentoring tone that teaches everyone about everything and does not allow any objections...

I am inclined to think that such manifestations to the young but already honored athlete Krystsina Tsimanouskaya could have been allowed from his side in full, such orders could have been given by him. If at one time he gave orders to his interior minister and special services to shoot people on the spot without trial or investigation and announced this loudly on television, then I can imagine what he can do with a simple athlete who somehow did not meet his expectations.

- Many experts assess the situation with Tsimanouskaya as another international scandal that will hit the Lukashenka regime. Do you agree with this?

- The opinion is, in principle, correct. Krystsina Tsimanouskaya was outside the Republic of Belarus, at the Olympics, that is, she had to obey not only the administration of our delegation but the rules of conduct of the Olympic Charter and the movement also applied to her. Athletes, judges, and delegations swear an oath to be honest and fair in the fight for Olympic medals and the competition in general.

The behavior of representatives of our sports delegation (or near sports bureaucrats) in Tokyo is an international scandal because this is no longer an internal affair of the country, our sports officials, coaches, and so on, who get salaries and receive money not only from the state but and from public funds, including the IOC and specialized international sports federations, commercial organizations, various businesses, etc. And, of course, such behavior on the part of officials, the state as a whole is not an internal affair of Belarus. This is the concern of everyone and everyone, they all have the right to correctly assess what happened from the standpoint of the rule of law, fulfillment of their obligations, for example, the rules of the Olympic Charter, respect for human rights, protection of honor and dignity of everyone, guaranteed freedoms. Among them - freedom of movement, choice of place of residence, freedom to have their own opinion and express it to others.

Of course, there must be a certain measure of responsibility. Equal share to every mare in accordance with international laws, IOC regulations, and procedures. The facts of the committed violations must be assessed impartially. Such cases of blatant disgrace cannot be ignored. They discredit the Olympic movement, as well as the state itself, which allows its athletes to be treated like slaves.

- Could there be new sanctions against the Lukashenka regime?

- I admit that some kind of sanctions can be applied. Let's see if they will be soft or tougher, given that the NOC of Belarus has already been subject to some types of restrictions.

This should be decided by the relevant structures, officials who head the IOC. However, what happened should not go unpunished because impunity is the connivance of such behavior, dangerous and enticing a threat to all other participants in such international competitions. I fully admit sanctions in the form of personal, organizational, and even financial. We should not forget about the possible reaction from international organizations and governments that responsibly approach the issues of human rights observance, the observance of the world order established by the international community, as reflected in the UN Charter, its other documents, principles, and rules.