Monday, August 17, 2020

Letter from a Priest in Belarus - Details of Atrocities and Detention of over 7,000 People due to Election


Dear brothers and sisters! Please read this letter to the end.
I ask you to pray for my Belarus.
On August 9, we held presidential elections. For 26 years, our country has been ruled by dictator Lukashenko. For two months before the election, he jailed his main opponents, and the election itself was blatantly rigged, and there is a huge amount of evidence for this.
On the evening of August 9, residents of our capital Minsk and other cities came out express peacefully their disagreement with deception: we must understand that Belarusians are a very peaceful and disciplined nation. The days of August 9-12 are the worst in our history in recent decades. During these days, the Internet was disabled all over the country. More than 7,000 people were detained, both participants in peaceful demonstrations and those who had nothing to do with them.
When the authorities turned on the Internet on the 12th, we learned about terrible things: that detainees were beaten, their limbs and spine were broken, men were raped with police batons, men and women, girls and boys were beaten to death; there are even beaten children aged 14-16. Female police officers beat men, beat their genitals. There are two people killed by the police, but it is possible that many more were killed and the police are just hiding the terrible numbers. 
Many people still don't know where their loved ones are. I would not like to describe all the villainies, it is too scary. I have been crying for several days now because this is happening in my home, on my streets, with my people. I will only say that I only read about such atrocities in Solzhenitsyn's books about Soviet camps and Gestapo camps. Now my generation knows what it is... This Is Europe...
Now tens of thousands of people take to the streets every day, workers of factories, factories and many others are on strike. But the authorities are increasingly intimidating us. We are afraid. But everyone understands that we can't live like this anymore. You need to understand that in general the Belarusians are peaceful and quite apolitical. But the atrocities and lies caused an explosion of anger. We don't know how it will end. Lukashenko has nothing to lose, he wants to go to the end and is ready to kill further. If he wins people, if none will stop him, there will be a terrible police state established in Belarus, which will lead to many deaths and emigration of a huge number of Belarusians (but we they can close the country as well). Every day I drive through the streets of Minsk and I don't know if I will return home today. I write on Facebook about the truth and I am afraid that the security services may follow me and come after me or my brother priests (two Catholic priests have been detained and they have not yet been released).
I ask you, dear brothers and sisters: 1) pray for Belarus; 2) inform as many people as possible about what is happening; 3) if possible, tell your bishops and authorities; 4) maybe you can make a video with words of support. It is so important for us to know that you are with us!!! There is no political opposition in Belarus, there is a desire to defend the right to vote and stop violence.

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