Opposition activists banned from holding rally in Slutsk in commemoration of 1920 anti-Bolshevik uprising

The Slutsk District Executive Committee has rejected an application for permission to hold a rally in Slutsk on December 2 in commemoration of the 90th anniversary of the 1920 Slutsk anti-Bolshevik uprising.

The application was filed by Alyaksey Yanukevich, chairman of the Belarusian Popular Front (BPF), and Vital Amyalkovich, chairman of the Slutsk city organization of the party.

"I the past, we asked for permission to hold rallies in different parts of Slutsk but were always told that the local stadium was the only venue in the city designated for such events," Mr. Yanukevich said. "This time, we wanted to hold the rally at the stadium. However, the authorities banned it on the grounds that people would gather there on December to mark World AIDS Day. Vital Amyalkovich had repeatedly told the authorities that we were ready to hold the rally in another place and even on a different day if the stadium would not unavailable on December 2. However, his proposals were ignored."

Mr. Yanukevich condemned their decision as part of the government's restrictive policy against political parties.

He said that although the rally had been cancelled, BPF activists would mark the 92nd anniversary of the Slutsk uprising in some other way. "We may simply visit places connected with the uprising to lay flowers and light candles there," Mr. Yanukevich said.

The Slutsk uprising broke out on November 1, 1920. Appeals by the government of the Belarusian National Republic to the Western Powers and the United States for military aid met with no response. The Soviet government, faced with a mass revolt in Belarus, signed an armistice with Poland to free its hands for more effective suppression. The armistice allowed the Soviet government to transfer units from the Polish front and use them against the rebels. As a result, the uprising was suppressed by the end of December 1920. //BelaPAN