The development of the dictatorship in Belarus

Contra makes an interview with Belorussian dissident Dmitri Semjonov, who has applied for political asylum in Sweden. Mr Semjonov has been active in the democratic opposition in Belarus and been harassed by the KGB (yes, the organization is still called so in Belarus). Mr Semjonov arrived to Sweden for the first time in 1990, when he had hijacked an Aeroflot aircraft, only 17 years old. He was later turned over to Soviet authorities and was sentenced to a fairly mild prison sentence of four years. After having served half the term he was released by the by then independent Belorussian authorities. He was refused admission to the State University because of his criminal background and was later also expelled from a new private University, after pressure from the authorities. He has not been a member of any political party, but has actively taken part in political activities by distributing leaflets, participating and organizing demonstrations and so forth. He was several times fined for his political activities and every time the fine was somewhat harder and he has lately been threatened that the KGB will plant drugs on him in order to be able to give him a long prison term as a drug trafficker. Mr Semjonov has also written on the development in Belarus in opposition papers. As no opposition papers are allowed in the Belarus the papers (there are three of them) are edited and printed in neigbouring Lithuania and smuggled into Belarus.

The heroes of the Cold War

This time a portrait of Angolan leader Jonas Savimbi. Mr Savimbi fought against the Portuguese colonialists and later against the Communist-backed MPLA government in Luanda. Today Mr Savimbi’s movement has agreed to put down the arms and the future for both himself and his organization seem uncertain.

Turkey and the islamists

Contra’s Middle East correspondent Bertil Wedin analyses the development in Turkey. The once secular state founded by Kemal Atatürk in the 1920s is now threatened by the Islamist party under Necmettin Erbakan. Although Erbakan recently resigned as Prime Minister and new elections will take place this coming fall, the very presence of Islamists in the Turkish government has affected the political balance in the region. Mr Erbakan has paid visits to countries like Libya and Iran, which certainly is not appreciated by the Turkish pro-Western secular military.

The End of Democracy in Hongkong

July 1 1997 Communist China takes control over Hongkong. The Communists has promised to run Hongkong according to the pinciple “one country ­ two systems” for 50 years. Very likely they will keep their promise for at least the coming years, as far as the economic system is concerned. The Communists realize that they will benefit from the free market working in Hongkong. But they will not keep the democratic system. We already see all the signs of a looming dictatorship, threatening the liberty of four million refugees from Communist China, now living in Hongkong.

Special section: Nixon was right ­ Hiss was guilty

Contra correspondent Bertil Häggman has written this essay on the Alger Hiss case. He comments on new documents, the Venona telegrams sent between Moscow and the Soviet Embassy in Washington. The Venona telegrams clearly shows that an agent called ALES worked for the Soviet Military Intelligence GRU. The description of ALES fits into Alger Hiss and the conclusion of this and evidence presented during the trials and later revealed in US and Soviet archives clearly shows that Nixon was right ­ Hiss was guilty. Mr Hiss, who died in November 1996, denied all accusation until his death.