Rymasheuski: Opposition had to choose whether to defend regime or fight
12:59, — Politics
19 December 2010 was a defining day for Belarusian opposition.
The opinion came from a co-chairman of the organizational committee for creation of the party Belarusian Christian Democracy Vital Rymasheuski as he commented for the charter97.org web-site on the third anniversary of the Square.
“Actually the 19 December 2010 predefined everything what would happen in future and what has been taking place these three years that have passed since the Square. The 19 December certainly had an impact on the authorities and democratic opposition. The symbolic sanctions, introduced against the Lukashenka regime, are also the result of and the reaction on the brutal crackdown on the protesters. Of course, the life of Belarus’ democratic community is to a large extent defined by the date. Many had to leave the country under the pressure and threats on the part of the Lukashenka regime. Those, who stayed here, also had to decide whether they would soften their position and defend the regime from sanctions or try to keep a principled position and keep fighting”, - the politicians emphasized.
Vital Rymasheuski pointed out that the events of 19 December 2010 were of great significance to him.
“On the one hand, this is the day of the courage of Belarusian people, who again showed its potential and aspiration for freedom and independence. The most significant thing that I remember is the courage of the people, who were by my side, who stayed in the Square until the last minute and very literally ready to die there. This is also the courage of the dozens of thousands of people, who came out in the Square, having overcome their fear and risking their well-being and security. That is why the Square is a marker event that showed that Belarusians are undefeated people, the people in whom lives the aspiration for freedom and is the will for struggle. That is why I am convinced that people would again come out for protest actions, which would last until democracy wins”, - Vital Rymasheuski summarized.
On 19 December 2010 presidential elections took place in Belarus. After the polling stations were closed dozens of thousands of people came out to the streets for a manifestation against the falsification of the election results. It was the largest manifestation in Belarus in the recent years. But the peaceful protest was brutally cracked down by police and internal troops.
Detentions, interrogations and arrests of opposition activists lasted for several months. Over 700 people were put in jail, dozens of beating victims got to hospitals. Criminal cases were filed against 46 leaders and activists of opposition, including presidential candidates. Many of them were sentenced to prison terms of 2 to six years. Thousands Belarusians had to leave the country concerned about criminal persecution.