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Makei To Euronews: “Mutual Accusations Gone So Far That There’s No Turning Back”

The Belarusian Foreign Ministry published the full version of the interview of the head of the ministry to the Euronews TV channel, which, we recall, stopped broadcasting in Belarus by the decision of the Ministry of Information.

The journalist of the TV channel recalled that the Belarusian administration has been accused of “massive and systematic” human rights violations in the wake of contested presidential elections last year. She also said that she was in Minsk and saw with her own eyes the brutal violence against protesters. Euronews correspondent asked Vladimir Makei if the Belarusian authorities regret their actions.

“The whole problem is that you and I have different views on what happened in Belarus last August and, unfortunately, today, the mutual accusations have gone so far that there’s no turning back. We see the events of the last year from absolutely different points of view. Yes, maybe the authorities sometimes acted in an excessive way. But that was an adequate reaction to all the non-peaceful, violent protests that took place in Belarus last year after the presidential elections.”

He believes that “in fact, there was an attempt at a coup d’etat. ”

Vladimir  Makei also said that now in Belarus “there are no protests”, and people on “protest” cases “were detained for specific crimes”.

“As to those individuals who were detained in the past, I must assure you that they were detained for specific crimes and rights violations. For example, I think that in European Union countries these crimes of terrorism would be evaluated differently. We had 8 cases of terrorism linked to arson attacks against buildings, car bombings, etc, there have been 10 cases of blockades of railway tracks, and a huge number of road blockades. Is this is all politically motivated? Or rather clearly related to violations of specific legislation of the Republic of Belarus.”

He also said that attacks and threats against law enforcement officers and their family members are subject to criminal punishment in European countries.

Euronews correspondent recalled that 358 people in Belarus were recognized as political prisoners [360 people as of 4 May – Ed.], and asked if they had committed real crimes, citing the example of convicted journalists of the Belsat TV channel Ekaterina Andreeva and Daria Chultsova, who were “sentenced to two years in jail for doing their job”.

To this, Vladimir Makei replied that he does not represent the judiciary or the Investigative Committee.

“So I can’t speak about each specific case. We can send you the relevant information confirming violations of the law by these particular individuals in each particular case. so I can’t speak about each specific case. We can send you the relevant information confirming violations of the law by these particular individuals in each particular case,” he replied.

In turn, he cited the example of Zenkovich, Autukhovich and Olinevich, who were detained “for specific acts of terrorism, a coup d’état.” Makei reproached the Western press for staying “ashamedly silent” about this, and also asked why the West and the media in Europe did not react to the disclosure of the “coup d’etat case”.

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