Updated at 22:06,23-05-2018

Labkovich: The KGB will have a "license" to kill

Klim Haletsky, UDF.BY

The higher dollar and inflation rates, the stronger the authorities "turn of the screw". Belarusians have already accustomed to such a situation.

However, the last bill on the incredible expansion of the KGB powers and the amendments to the laws on political parties and public associations have shocked even the most persistent. Internet is full of statements about the return of Belarus in 1937 and the rapid convergence of our political system with that of North Korea.

UDF.BY talked with Belarusian politicians and human rights activists to find out when Belarus will arrive at the station "totalitarianism".

Human rights activist Vladimir Labkovich said that the draft law "On Introduction of Changes and Amendments to Some Laws of the Republic of Belarus" is aimed at "the actual destruction of the right of peaceful assemblies and the right of peaceful association, it infringes on the freedom of citizens. These laws are unconstitutional and absurd. They make our country the European scarecrow. We've got the actual criminalization of any peaceful protests. At the easy suggestion of the authorities any rally may become a criminal offense. It is suffice to prove that there was a damage of 500 basic units, and they are able "to prove".

Deputy Chairman of the United Civil Party Lev Margolin says that the only purpose of these laws is to intimidate the citizens of their own country and to eliminate any political initiatives.

"The authorities are always quick to respond to changing situations. The new forms of struggle have appeared: the People's Assembly, Revolution through Social Networks, some other things will be done spontaneously. Lukashenko immediately tries to make them illegal".

The co-chair of the organizing committee of the party "Belarusian Christian Democracy" Vital Rymasheuski, while talking about expanding the KGB powers, said that "it was a legal implementation of what the authorities de facto have been doing for many years: detention without any explanations, tortures and pressure on people".

Vladimir Labkovich believes the KGB is transforming into a totally uncontrolled institution, closed on itself: "Workers of the State Security Committee in the past also could burst in the middle of the night, break into the door and take away people in an unknown direction. But than, within 4 hours they have to notify the Prosecutor's Office. This was at least some constraint. Now, the KGB is subject only to the KGB. They turned into the superstructure. In fact, now the KGB will have an absolution to all the actions and a "license" to kill".

Politicians and human rights activists don't tend to think that tomorrow we will wake up in Cuba or North Korea. Although their hopes for counteraction to these laws they associate primarily with the actions of international organizations, EU and Russia, not with a protest of the Belarusian people.

"The position of international organizations and the EU is extremely important, already long ago they have had to think about an adequacy of the regime and its ability to negotiate. They should be as fast and hard to respond to these laws", said Labkovich.

According to Vital Rymasheuski, it is necessary to unite and speak with one voice as it was done to deal with the amendments to Article 193 of the Criminal Code, which determines the responsibility for acting on behalf of unregistered public organizations and associations.

"I hope the Belarusian society will have enough strength to counteract this repressive law, as it had the strength to confront the practical application of the amendments to Article 193 of the Criminal Code. The only effective mechanism to protect the population of Belarus is a solidarity, protest actions and living activities of international organizations. We must resist and to seek cancellation of these laws, or at least to cancel the practice of its implementation".