Belarus: Priest Fined For 'Ukraine, Forgive Us' Sticker On His Car
(Radio Free Europe, www.rferl.org, 29. März 2022): A Belarusian Greek Catholic priest has been fined for having a bumper sticker on his car saying: "Ukraine, Forgive Us." A court in the eastern Belarusian city of Mahilyou ordered Vasil Yahorau on March 28 to pay 1,600 rubles ($490) as a penalty for having the sticker on his car. It is not clear what the official charge was in the case. Yahorau is the archpriest of the Greek Catholic parish in the town of Byalynichy near Mahilyou. He studied in a Greek Catholic seminary in the Ukrainian city of Ivano-Frankivsk.
He was arrested on March 25 and was held in a detention center until his trial. Authoritarian ruler Alyaksandr Lukashenka has allowed Russia to use Belarusian territory to launch Moscow's unprovoked invasion of Ukraine. Some of Russia’s ongoing missile attacks have also been made from Belarusian territory. In an interview with the Japanese television channel TBS earlier in March, Lukashenka said he opposes the punishment of people in Belarus for openly expressing their thoughts against the war in Ukraine. However, he has also presided over a violent crackdown on dissent in the country since a disputed August 2020 presidential election that handed him a sixth term in office.
Opposition politicians say the election was rigged and that their candidate won the vote. Many opposition figures have been jailed since, or have left their country fearing for their security. (Quelle: www.rferl.org, 29. März 2022)