Solidarity Day in Minsk


An evening consecrated to the memory of the abducted politicians and public leaders was held in Minsk, Charter`97 reports.

It was held on September 16, 15 years after the day when Viktar Hanchar and Anatoly Krasouski went missing. The gathering took place in the headquarters of the Belarusian Popular Front. As has learnt, among the participants of the event, organized by “European Belarus” civil campaign, there were human rights activists, lawyers, writers, former political prisoners and public activists. Rights after the trial, a Homel-based activist Yury Rubtsou arrived to the meeting. Zmitser Zavadski’s mother, Volha Zavadskaya, attended the gathering as well.

The evening was opened by an activist of “European Belarus” Yuliya Stsyapanava. In the opening speech she reminded about the events which took place 15 years before, and then a coordinator of the campaign Maxim Vinyarski took the floor.

“The death squad didn’t start with political leaders. The technology of “disappearances” was started to be practiced from crime bosses,” he reminded. “In case the civil society turned attention to such incidents from the start, it is possible the tragedy could have been avoided. The fact that Belarusians started mass rallies in memory of the abducted, helped to stop such “disappearances”. Now those who committed those crimes, think they are safe, but they should remember that sooner or later such crimes are to be answered for, both by perpetrators and organizers. The experience of Argentine, Chile and other countries where similar things took place, show that it is impossible to remain unpunished. Sooner or later the justice will prevail.”

Raisa Mikhajlouskaya, director of the Belarusian Documents Centre, told what work is being performed by human rights activists now.
“Today we can safely say that for 15 years investigators have been covering up both the materials of the investigation and its results,” she stressed. “No investigative actions have been performed with relatives of the abducted, complainant in the case, for all these years. They are not allowed to get acquainted with the materials of the investigation, they do not know at which stage the criminal cases are. Investigator Varauka, who is in charge of all these cases, recognized mother of Yury Zakharanka, Ullyana Zakharanka, a complainant in the case, after two complaints to the Prosecutor General’s Office and the Investigations Committee. On behalf of Ullyana Zakharanka and Alena Zakharanka the BDC prepared and forwarded an appeal to the UN Human Rights Committee. The application of Ityna Krasouskaya to consolidate the cases was dismissed by investigator Varauka, as he found no grounds for that. On September 4 the same application to the Investigations Committee was made by Svyatlana Zavadskaya and Ullyana Zakharanka. They have not received an answer.”

One of the most recognized lawyers of Belarus, the chairman of the legal commission of the Belarusian Helsinki Committee Harry Pahanyajla, told about the facts that are little known.

“In April 1999 a document on fight against opposition was prepared inside the KGB, the Security Council, and possibly with personal participation of Lukashenka,” he said. “It was a document marked as “Strictly confidential”. But it went public. The question of struggle against opposition was directly raised there. It mentioned splitting the parties, total spying, “tapping” conversations, and preparation of measures of neutralization of opposition leaders like Hanchar, Paznyak and others. The involvement of the Belarusian regime in abductions or murders of Zavadski, Hanchar, Krasouski and Zakharanka, as well as other Belarusian citizens, has been confirmed by many facts, direct and indirect ones, and this case could have been solved in a few weeks. But a political will is needed for that, and unfortunately, it does not exist and there could not be such will yet, as everybody knows who stands behind these crimes. We have to wait until the regime changes in our country. In these cases we deal with extra-judicial execution, which is considered a crime against humanity, and it does not have a period of limitation.”

After the official part, a concert of a well-known Belarusian singer and songwriter Andrei Melnikau, and the first Belarusian political prisoner, Slavamir Adamovich, took place. Then all participants of the event lit candles, forming the number “16”.