Belarusian soldiers have been using weapons against protests for years. They are now officially allowed to do this against the civilian population.
SEDAN taz | Open fire in Belarus: members of the military will now officially be able to shoot at civilians. The Belarusian head of state, Alexander Lukashenko, signed a corresponding decree last Thursday, which was published two days later.
According to the web portal document Nastojaschee vremja As cited, military personnel “may use physical force and use special means, combat and special equipment and weapons in the performance of the tasks assigned to them.” It is important to take into account the current situation, the type of crime and the personality of the perpetrators.
In addition, the decree states that a soldier who opened fire on a civilian is not responsible for damage to the health of the wounded “if the use or use of weapons was carried out in accordance with the requirements of general military regulations.”
In recent years, Belarusian security forces and military personnel have repeatedly used their weapons against the civilian population, especially during mass protests against the fraudulent 2020 presidential election. Nastojaschee vremja the case of a 44-year-old man from Brest who was shot by a soldier during an anti-regime demonstration in August 2020 and who died shortly after from his serious injuries in a hospital.
Death penalty against military personnel
Meanwhile, Lukashenko's authoritarian regime is also wiping out resistant members of the military. Next week officer Anton Tscheramnykh will be tried in Minsk. This is reported by the Belarusian human rights organization Vjasna (Spring). The charges are treason and “inciting social hatred.” If he is convicted, the 40-year-old faces between 10 and 20 years in prison.
The Ukrainian website cites information from other media. focus.ua Cheramnykh comrades. According to them, the accused supported an alternative presidential candidate in 2020 and did not hide his rejection of Russia's war of aggression against Ukraine.
A corresponding law on high treason came into force in March last year. It provides for the death penalty for soldiers and public servants who are “guilty” of this crime. Belarus is the only country in Europe where death sentences are carried out.