• From a legal point of view, Lukashenka's decree is legal nonsense.

    This is not legislation, it is a "revolutionary necessity".

  • Bolshevik logic: law is perceived as one of the instruments that serve the government.

  • The fact that there should be public "repentance" is an obvious element of humiliation of the human person, they want to break and trample the person.

  • On the one hand, complete lawlessness, but on the other hand, an almost maniacal desire to comply with certain formalities.

— On February 6, Alexander Lukashenko signed the decree "On consideration of appeals by citizens of the Republic of Belarus who are abroad, on issues of their committing offenses."

According to the decree, a commission has been established that will consider the statements of those persons "who committed administrative offenses or protest-oriented crimes in the period from January 1, 2020 to the entry into force of this decree, are afraid of returning to the country due to possible involvement in the commission of such offenses, crimes".

A legitimate question immediately arises: who before the court has the right to decide that a citizen has "committed a crime or a misdemeanor"?

How does it sound from a legal point of view, even from the point of view of the specific Belarusian legal system?

- It must be said right away that from a legal point of view, this decree of Lukashenka is legal nonsense.

Formally, this is a regulatory act, but starting from the name, we see that these are not legal structures.

First, the name itself is nonsense.

Why is there a need for a special legal form in relation to citizens who are abroad?

Ekaterina Djaikala

The creation of the commission itself is a mixture of a friendly court and Stalin's "troika".

Will the commission make decisions about the guilt of certain citizens?

That is, she replaces the court?

In any case, this is legal nonsense.

After all, only the court can decide whether a person has committed a crime, investigative state bodies can stop the case due to certain circumstances.

The commission is neither one nor the other.

- In the Soviet reality, there were already those "troikas" in the 1930s who had the authority to quickly decide the fate of a person - but the Soviet legislation was somehow changed to give them such authority.

Can the current "commission" work without adopting any changes in the laws?

On what legal basis is its creation based?

- This is the concept of "revolutionary necessity", which appeared after the victory of the Bolsheviks and then transformed first into "revolutionary legality" and then into "socialist legality".

That is, "the end justifies the means", because we are making a revolution, then we are building communism, a bright future.

And here, in today's Belarus, the same.

This is Bolshevik logic, where law is perceived as one of the instruments that serve the government.

As for the legal component, in Belarus presidential decrees are higher than laws adopted by the "parliament".

This has been around for a long time and is an integral part of the current "legal system".

Besides, this commission is not a court, not a legal authority.

She will consider who "should" be forgiven, and will "recommend" to the authorities that this person be forgiven for his "crimes".

That is, the legal decision will be formally taken by the court or the investigation, and the commission will only "recommend".

And they will say: "We are not a court, we do not pass judgments, we just advise."

They have mosaic thinking.

- The wording is also interesting: "crimes of a protest orientation".

Also some new word in jurisprudence.

- Yes, perhaps Prosecutor General Shved will write another book about it.

But that in the world theory of criminal law, that there is no such category in the Belarusian Criminal Code, this is again some kind of new construction.

And their wording is again very unusual: "citizens who have committed crimes" but "are afraid to return to the country due to their possible involvement in the crime."

- In other words, there is actually a call to confess one's "crimes".

As in the Soviet practice of the 1930s, "confession is the queen of evidence."

- Yes, according to the same logic, if the law is an instrument that serves the government.

He confessed - that's all, that's enough.

After all, the confession can be beaten out, but the evidence must be collected, something justified, something proven.

- At the same time, in the Belarusian law enforcement system, they used to be formally worried about "evidence".

Policemen acted as false witnesses, wrote reports that they detained people - although sometimes it happened in a completely different place, and sometimes they detained completely different people.

That is, the fulfillment of legal and legal formalities was always important to him.

- Yes, it's a mosaic thing again.

On the one hand, complete lawlessness, but on the other hand, an almost maniacal desire to comply with certain formalities.

Courts often sent reports that were incorrectly drawn up for some formal reasons.

Someone was not interviewed, someone did not sign.

It is clear in advance what the sentence will be - but they have to endure the formal procedure.

- How can those people, to whom the commission's activities will be directed, react to its creation?

In theory, some might "trust" the government if it stopped the repression and said, "Come back."

But the repression does not stop.

They also imprison those who have already returned within the last months.

Who will submit applications to this commission against such a political background?

- They cannot stop the repression now, because the machine has been started and is working to preserve power.

There are opinions that the creation of this commission is aimed at foreign consumers.

I do not agree here.

Who will "buy" for this legal "monster"?

Some kind of amnesty could still be "sold".

People whom they contemptuously call "fugitives" - they are outside the law, they are strangers to them.

The fact that there should be public "repentance" is an obvious element of humiliation of the human person.

They want to break and trample a person.

They will try to show "who is the master in the house".

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  • Vitaly Tsygankov

    Vitaly Tsygankov graduated from the Faculty of Journalism of BSU.

    One of the two founders of the first non-governmental news agency BelaPAN.

    He worked in "Zvyazda" newspapers, was a correspondent in Belarus of the Russian "Nezavisimaya Gazeta", Associated Press, columnist in "Svaboda" newspaper.

    On Belarusian Freedom since 1994.

    Correspondent of Russian Freedom in Belarus.