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Belarusian state TV awards 'Orders of Judas' in weekly outpourings of hate: report

06.08.2021 12:30
A weekly show on Belarusian state-controlled TV stages mock hangings of opposition activists and awards "Orders of Judas" to those who "have tarnished life with the sin of betrayal," according to a report.
Poland-based Belarusian opposition politician Pavel Latushko.
Poland-based Belarusian opposition politician Pavel Latushko.Photo: Natalia Fedosenko/TASS via PAP

"The Order of Judas" is a set piece of the Sunday-night programme "The Week," broadcast by CTV (Capital Television), a regime-controlled channel, the niezalezna.pl website has reported.

Hosted by the 26-year-old journalist Grigoriy Azarenok, the section centres around the handing out of medals to those who "have sullied their life with the sin of betrayal," according to niezalezna.pl.

Viewers are treated to photographs of dissidents singled out for condemnation, which appear on the screen next to a scaffold and the "Order of Judas." The latter is modelled on a decoration Czar Peter I supposedly gave to Ivan Mazepa, after the military leader transferred his allegiance to the Swedish king in 1708, the Polish website said.

Opposition activists subjected to these mock hangings include Poland-based Belarusian opposition politician Pavel Latushko; the former Miss Belarus, now journalist and activist Olga Khizhinkova; presenter Yevgeny Perlin; and eminent swimmer Aliaksandra Herasimenia, according to niezalezna.pl.

The displays of hatred served up on the programme seem even more chilling in view of the recent death of Vitaly Shishov, the website said.

A prominent dissident, Shishov was the leader of the Belarusian House in Ukraine, a group helping people who fled Belarus. Shishov's body was found hanged in a park in Kyiv earlier this week.

In an interview with the wp.pl website, Latushko said that the hate-filled show had been broadcast for months and he himself was one of its first targets.

"There's no doubt whatsoever that these actions are steered directly from above," Latushko said.

"This is part of a wider campaign which is two-pronged," he added.

Latushko was also quoted as saying that the regime of strongman Alexander Lukashenko is "trying at all cost to undercut all independent media or even completely shut them down."

A number of popular newspapers and websites have been closed down over the last few months, he said, according to niezalezna.pl.

He added that state-controlled media were pushing "very brutal" propaganda directed against "every male and female opponent of the regime."

"They are being outright called criminals and accused of wanting to bring the country to ruin," Latushko was quoted as saying.


Source: niezalezna.pl