“We didn’t raise our sons to be executioners”.

An emotional letter from a cadet’s mother.

Editors have received an emotional letter from the mother of a cadet where she expressed her regrets and worries about her son’s future. She also asked questions which have no answers as yet. We wanted to share this letter with you.

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I can’t announce this story using my real name as I am afraid for my child’s future. My son is a student of The Academy of the Ministry of Internal Affairs. I think every mothercan feel me.
This letter is a cry of despair. Lately I’ve been crying a lot not only because my son’s dream of serving his country was stolen from him… I am not able to overcome the anxiety, anger, helplessness and fear I feel for every resident of our beautiful country. Therefore I want to show the other side of the coin and appeal to all parents of Belarus (especially to mothers of cadets).

Our children didn’t have to take part in suppressing the protest. Many of them, including my son, have also avoided being involved in rallies supporting current authorities.

But the evil has arrived not just to thousands of “civilian” families: our boys are beinglumped together with criminals.

The honor of the uniform is so stained that a Police uniform makes a person look dangerous in the eyes of a peaceful population. Take a look at how much the faces of ordinary people change if a Police officer walks nearby — a look of horror appears even in the eyes of children.

Every evening I am paralyzed with fear and this is unbearable! At any point a young man or woman risks being permanently injured by unknown people who may or may not wear a uniform. Of course, the level of aggression is rising. If my family were to experience the grief which many victims’ mothers have experienced these days, I would be indifferent to what kind of uniform I was facing. A person’s very uniform is now enough to identify them as a member of the enemy that is abusing us.

They scare us with the 1990s. But we didn’t have anything like this in the ‘90s!

In my opinion, everything that happens now is uncontrolled banditry. People are dying and disappearing. Not every witness testimonies have been published so far, and there are still many people who disappeared, who didn’t reach home. It is scary to imagine the details we have yet to learn. This is happening in the middle of Europe in the 21st century… We seem to have fallen into an endless bad dream, without a chance to wake up.

A stifling fear has gripped Belarus but not because of protestors. It’s cultivated by those responsible for protecting people’s freedom, well-being and dignity. But what is the official narrative? We get poor justifications from the Government instead of genuine apologies to the victims, confirmations of unmotivated acts of violence against them and punishment of the perpetrators. It’s a message to all mothers and citizens of Belarus: “We do
not regret any of our actions and if necessary, we will do it again.” It is terrifying.

Despite the fact that there is a huge number of videos, photos and testimonies of witnesses and victims yet not a single prosecution has been started against riot police representatives. Violence is not punished but encouraged in the higher echelons of power. To torture, kill and maim — it’s an impeccable service, isn’t it?

Should we live in such a country for five years more?

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Outstanding situation in Belarus violates not only civil law, but human rights too. Blatant contempt for the law we have in Belarus can result in a horrible tragedy. Government actions fuel people’s anger and I’m afraid there will be a day when an angry crowd stops caring who is a criminal and who is not. People’s anger will boil over, and mothers will run out of tears mourning children.

We got caught up in a dirty game. Therefore, mothers of Belarus shall unite to save their children as no one will help; look what’s going on in the country. No matter where your child studies or works, our mother duty is to make every effort to safeguard not only the life and health of children, but also their clear conscience and the ability to consider themselves human beings.

Mothers of cadets!

We have not raised our sons to be executioners! Our children enrolled in Military Academies to protect the country and the nation’s welfare. They pledged their oath to the people. But after graduation they will be required to work in the system that tends to break many of them. We won’t be able to look at our neighbors’ eyes. Many of them already identify people in uniform as a threat and an enemy. Imagine what possibly happens next.

Officers!

There are young men looking at you, young men who trust you. They
followed in your footsteps, dreaming to serve faithfully and truthfully. Show us an example of courage and help us to restore the honour of Uniform. Remember how you dreamed of bringing good to people. While everything could still be changed, please act and help to prosecute those who are responsible for tortures and murders, do not follow criminal orders. We are mothers and we were so proud of you and put our kids in your hands.

Indeed, we’ll be cleaning up this mess for a long time. Starting with the municipal workers who removed public benches for preventing independent observers from sitting down, and ending with top government officials. It’s not the time to cry — we should remember universal human values and unite to have a chance to consider ourselves human beings.

Stories of people hoping for a democratic Belarus. Created, translated and moderated by a collective of independent authors.

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