EURASIA LIFT

Human Rights Issues in Eurasia / Правовые Вопросы В Регионах Евразии

Belarus: Fear and Confusion After Metro Bombing – Political Motives?

Posted by Info on 15/04/2011

With little official information to go on, many in the opposition in Minsk this week had initially pointed the finger at the government over the blast. President Lukashenko lauded his security team for “solving” the case and arresting five people who were not identified it connected to bombings in 2005 and 2008.

Fears over the authorities’ reaction to the bombing are centred on the brutal suppression that followed Lukashenko’s contested re-election in December. Some 700 protesters were arrested over the Dec. 19 rally, when tens of thousands marched to the main government building in Minsk. Seven of the candidates were arrested for organising mass unrest, some facing prison terms of up to 15 years. Vladimir Neklyaev, one of the most promising alternatives to Lukashenko, was hospitalised after being severely beaten on his way to an election day protest rally. While in the hospital, plain-clothed security officials dragged him away again. He was only released from prison over a month later.

And when a remote control detonated a bomb hidden in a bag on the platform at Oktyabrskaya metro station – just underneath the city’s main square –Lukashenko lashed out at critics who had speculated someone in the government may have been behind the attack.
“[I want] everyone questioned, regardless of the wails from foreign [sympathisers]. We need to investigate all these statements from political activists, who implicated everyone. Maybe these activists from the ‘fifth column’ will show their cards and say who actually did it.”

Political motives?
As Belarus has no separatist movement or external military involvements, and hardly any internal extremism, the consensus among Minsk’s democratic intelligentsia was that politics were behind the blast.
But the question remained – WHO WAS BEHIND THE POLITICS?

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