Belarus: snatch squad kills demonstrator
In Minsk, a 31-year-old demonstrator has died of head injuries inflicted during his brutal arrest. He had tried to stop a snatch squad dressed in civilian clothing from removing the red and white ribbons residents had placed on a fence in the courtyard of an apartment building in the Square of Change. He is not the first casualty of the protests against the regime, which have not subsided despite the government's harsh crackdown.
Nothing but repression and pseudo dialogue
Belarusian journalist Alexander Starikevich voices outrage on independent newssite VTimes at the state's brutal crackdown on the protest movement:
“Roughly 20,000 people have been subject to repression since the presidential elections. By comparison: in Poland, which has four times the population, just over 10,000 people were detained during the Solidarność era. But that's not enough for the Belarusian state. It has to start a senseless - and merciless - 'nationwide dialogue' in the country. This process began with Lukashenka's legendary visit to the KGB prison, where his opponents are being held. And now it continues on 'dialogue forums' in the regions, to which only organisations loyal to the government are invited. The first result of these meetings was the proposal to increase the penalties for street protests.”
Lukashenka should be put on trial
In Echo of Moscow, economics professor Konstantin Sonin outlines how such atrocities should be dealt with at the legal level after a change of government:
“It seems to me that it would be right for a new Belarusian government to establish an international Belarus tribunal analogous to the Special Court for Sierra Leone. ... It is important to note that unlike the trial of Serbian ex-president Milošević, this tribunal was convened on the initiative of the government of Sierra Leone rather than by an international organization. I do not think much of the idea of a tribunal supported by some external actor. ... The states themselves should judge their criminals.”