Grigory Pasko: When the Deaf Sing

pasko123010.jpegOn 21 December, the case of a certain S.Antonov was being examined in the court of the Central district of Minsk. According to the police report, he had participated in an unsanctioned action and had been shouting out anti-state slogans. Если Вы хотите прочитать оригинал данной статьи на русском языке, нажмите сюда. To the questions of the judge as to whether he agrees with the accusation, the defendant was unable to respond, since it turned out that he – is a deaf-mute. They sent the detainee off back to the isolator, and the reports – for additional work to the police. This incident could have seemed funny if we did not know who former lieutenant-colonel of the fire troops Lukashenko is and what the system of authoritarianism built by him in the republic is. The system, by the way, is very much like the one that former lieutenant-colonel of the KGB Putin has built up in Russia. You will say: system, schmystem, but what does any of this have to do with deaf-mutes?

Such a story was found in the live journal. The blogger tverdyi_znak writes that on 29 October of the year 2008 at the Levashovskoye memorial cemetery by Petersburg was unveiled a monument to deaf-mutes – victims of political repressions. The monuments represents a vertical slab with a depiction of bars, behind which – two hands with fingers spread.The «Case of the Leningrad society of deaf-mutes» was fabricated in the bowels of the NKVD in the year 1937. They raised up a charge against deaf people that they had created a fascisto-terroristic organization. 55 persons were arrested then, on 25 December of the year 1937 35 persons were executed by shooting (25 men and 10 women, the oldest was 64, the youngest was 22). 20 persons were sentenced to imprisonment for a term of 10 years.This means, deaf-mutes were inconvenient to comrade Stalin too for some reason. For what reason? Because they were somehow looking not the right way at the establishment of a totalitarian regime? After all, looking was all they could do…deafmutesrussia.jpgThe blogger remembers other facts as well. For example, such ones: at that time the chief of the Leningrad administration of the NKVD was Leonid Zakovsky. In January of the year 1938 Zakovsky was transferred as Yezhov’s deputy to Moscow. It so happened that very many invalids had gathered in Moscow’s jails, and Zhakovsky said: «What are you wasting time with them for? In Leningrad we simply formalized them along the first category – for execution by shooting, and that’s it. Why bother messing around with them in the camps?» So that’s just what they did, and even more invalids were executed by shooting in Moscow.As we can see, comrade Lukashenko already had predecessors.There are examples in Russia as well. Even though Sergey Mokhnatkin is a deaf-mute, he nevertheless completely fit into to the Stalinist theory of struggle with all those who disagree with regimes. Mokhnatkin was sentenced by a Russian court to 2.5 years of general regime colony because he had intervened to help a 72-year-old female participant in a rally on Triumphal Square whom employees of the police were treating roughly. To him, an elderly person, they imputed the beating of a young and healthy police sergeant.Totalitarian powers don’t like those who disagree. It tolerates them, while they’re in jail.Let’s get back to Byelorussia. On the evening of 19 December the Byelorussian police cruelly suppressed actions of protest of the opposition, having arrested more than 600 persons, including 7 opposition candidates to the presidency, three of whom – Vladimir Neklyayev, Nikolai Statkevich, Vitaly Rimashevsky – were beaten by the forces of law and order before this. Besides that, 18 journalists were detained on 19-20 December in Belarus.Beating up oppositioneers until they’re half-dead – this, it has to be said, is not comrade Lukashenko’s know-how. We will recall: defender of the Khimki Forest Mikhail Beketov was beaten up until he was half-dead in Khimki, near Moscow.It so happened that I have been acquainted for a long time with one of the apparent claimants to the presidential chair in Byelorussia – the poet Vladimir Neklyayev. We became acquainted at the edge of the world – in Norway’s Tromsø at an annunational PEN-club congress. He recounted to me then about Belarus and Lukashenko, about how he had fallen out with him to such a degree that he was forced to leave the country. I remember, Vladimir noted the acerbated animosity of Lukashenko towards those who are not in agreement with him. Apparently, such an animosity of the current president of Byelorussia was transmitted to his cerberuses as well – those who beat up the unarmed and defenceless, as well as the deaf and mute.I wish Vladimir Neklyuayev from the bottom of my heart to heal his wounds quickly and to continue the struggle for independence and democracy in his republic.Photos:- Monument to deaf-mutes (source)- The author with Vladimir Neklyayev in Tromsø (photo by Grigory Pasko)