Nasha Niva's Zmitser Pankavets finds participation of pro-Lukashenka officials in international conferences “useful for the nation”.
Below is the full text of his article published today:
“The website Charter'97 sharply criticises OSCE's decision to invite Uladzimir Rabavolau, the first deputy head of the Operational and Analytical Centre under the aegis of Lukashenka, to the conference in Vienna “Internet 2013: Shaping Policies to Advance Media Freedom”.
“Main castigator of Belarusian Internet visits OSCE conference” – Charter website titled the article.
Website's editor Natallia Radzina says: “Lukashenka's decree on Censorship on the Internet was adopted in 2010. It obliged Internet service providers to register users and keep information about the services rendered to them. Owners of Internet cafés were obliged to check passports of visitors. The control over the Internet was given to the Operational and Analytical Centre (OAC).”
Yes, there were cases of blocked access to independent websites (including Nasha Niva), as well as to Facebook, Vkontakte and email services on the days of elections and mass protests, but it also happened before the adoption of the decree.
As for the OAC, every state has bodies responsible for regulation and monitoring the Internet. It would be Trotskyism to say that Belarus does not need them.
What concerns the second aspect of the article, Radzina writes “I'd like to ask the OSCE: How is it possible to give the floor to a punitive agency?”
This is an old difficult question whether there are need and sense to invite Belarusian officials to international forums. Charter website says a decisive “No”.
The same happened to the Belarusian border guards and policemen who had trainings in Germany. The same was with other visits of officials to Europe. So much fuss was made about the trainings of Belarusians law-enforcement officers in Germany.
The question was raised by the German opposition (Social Democrats and the Greens), who had own goals, but didn't think about real national interests of the Belarusians.
Charter explains its position by the fact that officials fool Europe. Natallia, do you really think West representatives are so naïve to believe representatives of official Minsk? Do you really think the western society is so naïve to believe arguments of officials of a poor isolated country, which was turned into Russia's vassal by silly actions of the government?
Do you really think the officials with Europe's lowest wages can fool someone?
Moreover, if the Charter's representative is always close with her counterarguments.
Officials learn during these visits. They don't learn bans and repression. They already can do it without trainings abroad.
The same is with riot police. Do you think they cannot disperse protesters and throw them into police vans? They do it perfectly. During meetings with their European colleagues they see other examples of social organisation, other logics of secret service activities and opportunities to act within the law. All such meetings are useful for Belarus as a state and a nation.
The same can applied not only to government officials and riot policemen, but to teachers, doctors, sportsmen and military officers.
Let OAC representatives go to Europe. Let border guards go to Europe. Let riot policemen go to Europe. They will not learn bad things there.”
Yury Zisser and Uladzimir Rabavolau on lunch break at the OSCE conference