“To his last days, Havel devoted his time and his thoughts to the places on the world map where injustice is being done. Belarus is one of such places,” said MFF Chairman Yuri Hubarevich, opening the evening.
According to him, ten years ago, in 2010, people took to the streets to demand change, so that Belarus was democratic and independent — society was deciding how the country should live further on. However, repression was used against the people.
“Unfortunately, nothing has changed over this time. Perhaps, the level of persecution is different now. However, we witness the same trials, fines, several-days arrests, and persecution of the most active people. The regime’s essence is not changing,” said Hubarevich.
The MFF Chairman sees parallels between the situation in Czechoslovakia during Havel’s time and today’s Belarus. “What inspires people who are struggling in such conditions?” asked Hubarevich, adding that he would like to make the next step, and to think of other things, as well — namely, how the transformation is done when an authoritarian regime collapses.
“What should be done to the economy? What should be done to the politics? Václav Havel learned all of this by his own experience,” said the politician.
Hubarevich wished that 2020 was a year of real change for Belarus.
Czech Ambassador Tomas Pernitski said that he participated in the student strikes in Czechoslovakia.
“It was important for us that Havel became president. We were confident that he would bring us back to Europe. It was only after his election that we stopped the student strikes. I’m not saying that if there was no Havel, we would not be in the EU and NATO. However, we would not get there so fast,” said the diplomat.
Over the latest time, there was only one month — August — in Belarus when no one was detained, so human rights activists have relaxed, said ‘Viasna’ Human Rights Centre Ales Bialiatski.
“And, I wonder what Václav Havel would tell Belarusians in the current situation. [Probably, he would say] that we should not think that we are alone — generals without an army. When the situation changes, the army would appear. We are not dissidents — we are true fighters against the regime,” said Bialiatski.
He thinks that Havel’s legacy is still relevant for Belarus.
Politician Anatol Liabedzka made a proposal to name one of the streets in the name of Havel. He substantiated this idea as follows: Soviet names pull us back in the Soviet past, while Havel means a European future.
The guests watched the staging of Havel’s play named ‘The Protest’, directed by Vasil Dranko-Maysiuk. The party was concluded by musician Andrus Takindang’s performance.