6 December 2023, Wednesday, 1:01
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Compassion For A Bird?

Compassion For A Bird?
Iryna Khalip

About the do-gooders and Roma.

There is a colloquial word - do-gooders, introduced by the Belarusian journalist Aliaksandr Ocheretny. Animal journalists, biologists and hunters use it most often. The word is used to describe human behaviour towards animals.

Ocheretny, a journalist and hunter, explained that the do-gooders carry loaves of bread to ponds and feed swans and ducks in winter. They also carry crisps and even salted crackers. By the way, "Ahova Ptushak Batsyushchyny" already rang the alarm a few years ago, as this naive kindness killed hundreds of mallards in Minsk city limits as they overate. Now, the head of Ahova, Victar Fenchuk, is serving a sentence under the "people's" article in Mahiliou colony. Last winter, there was nobody to remind that one must not feed waterfowl, but to place bird feeders with wheat and sunflower seeds.

Also Do-gooders like to pick up nestlings and bring them to the zoo, thinking they are rescuing poor birds. Although the birds are just learning to fly. In the zoo, they quickly become food for predators. Or to take dogs out in spring to forest or meadow to have fun there, not thinking that it is the nesting season. A cheerful frolicking dog may destroy many nests and eggs during this walk. Or to raise money for Ilizarov's apparatus for an injured calf, so that it may grow up and become full-fledged food. And to talk about callousness of hunters, eating game in a restaurant.

In general, it makes sense. But I have recently realised that the word “do-gooder” also refers to interspecies relationships - human relationships. Do-gooders have recently began to propose to all others to demonstrate compassion for Romochka with the same fierceness they show by taking fledglings to the zoo and chips to the winter pond. Grabbing one's sleeve, shouting loudly, twisting one's arms. Show compassion for Romochka, you must do it! If you do not, and publicly, then you heartless hunters or even predators. You must show pity loudly, abundantly and exaltedly. He is a victim. He was telling dirty details about his friends and supporters without pleasure. He was probably guilty and forced to testify against Sophea Sapega. Now he is pardoned and free. Isn't that a reason to feel pity? Who is not compassionate - is not a liberal and, in general, and is an abettor of the regime. Baranavichy students are driven together by the state to sympathize with Roma and to watch together his interview with BT TV channel. Are we worse than the state, more inhuman? Especially, by the way, Russian liberals succeed in compassion. The same ones who also feel compassion for "their boys".

Those PMC boys and Roma are both worthy objects of sympathy. There are enough of ours, though. They do not feel any pity for the boys, only for Roma. But they demonstrate cosmic degree of sympathy. It is as huge as the number of crisps for swans: packs and kilos.

These do-gooders cannot get that the best thing they can do for Roman Protasevich is to forget about him. Completely, forever, erase him from memory and posts on social networks. Leave him on his own with his life, his conscience, his memories, his guilt - if there is a list of it, of course. If not, just leave him alone with his life and new friends among propagandists. I don't doubt that's exactly what he'd be grateful to everyone for - oblivion. That, in this particular case, is true humanism and infinite kindness.

By the way, HRC Viasna website has a section "Former Political Prisoners". Roma, Vitold Ashurak and Mikalai Klimovich peacefully coexist side by side. It's inhuman and simply unacceptable to unite Ashurak and Roman. Moreover, to call people who died in Belarusian colonies political prisoners "ex". It's like calling Aliaksandr Kullinkovich a former musician and Pavel Sheremet a former journalist. Ashurak and Klimovich will never become ex-political prisoners because they will never be released.

I offer to create a separate category for them: "Eternal Political Prisoners". And never put them in line with the objects of communal compassion.

Iryna Khalip, specially for Charter97.org

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