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Journalist Zmitser Zavadski went missing 9 years ago in Belarus

Journalist Zmitser Zavadski went missing 9 years ago in Belarus

On July 7, 2000 ORT cameraman Zmitser Zavadski went missing under mysterious circumstances on his way to airport “Minsk-2”. Since that time nothing is known about the journalist.

Officially Zmitser Zavadski’s abduction is considered detected. Officers of Almaz special squad of the Ministry of Internal Affairs Valery Ihnatovich and Maksim Malik (got life sentence), former of military student Academy of the Ministry of Internal Affairs Alyaksei Huz (got 25 years of imprisonment), and Syarhei Savushkin (was in prison for three times before, sentenced to 12 years of imprisonment) were found guilty with it.

It is worth noting the sentences were delivered in closed regime. No proves of their implication in kidnapping of Zmitser Zavadski were presented to the public. None of them has confessed his guilt. The investigatory agencies didn’t find a body of the disappeared journalist.

Accusation over Zavadski’s case and court proceeding were fabricated to smother up fuss about the kidnapping. Uncomfortable executors, who had committed other crimes on the order of the authorities before but had no relation to Zmitser Zavadski’s disappearance, were sent to prison.

Beside Zmitser Zavadski, first Vice Speaker of the Supreme Soviet of Belarus of the 13th convocation, the chairman of the Central Election Commission Viktar Hanchar, a businessman and public leader Anatol Krasouski, the former head of the Interior Ministry and then an oppositional politician Yuri Zakharanka went missing in 1999-2000.

A demand to reveal the truth about Zmitser Zavadski’s disappearance is contained in resolutions of UN Commission on Human Rights, Parliamentary Assembles of the Council of Europe and the OSCE.

Minister of internal affairs Uladzimir Navumau, head of the presidential administration Viktar Sheiman, former head of the Ministry of Internal Affaires Yury Sivakou and commander of a special police squad Dzmitry Paulichenka are forbidden entry to the US and the EU countries as they are suspected in involvement in disappearance of Zmitser Zavadski as well as in kidnapping of opposition leaders Viktar Hanchar, Yury Zakharanka and Anatol Krasouski.

As we have informed, in June this year Alyaksandr Lukashenka stated in an interview to the Russian newspaper “Zavtra”, that opposition leaders had been murdered indeed. However, it happened not on his order, but allegedly “for commercial reasons”.

“Three persons have perished, and mass media are still repeating this. Lukashenka has killed them as opponents of the regime. In fact, in two cases these were murders for commercial reasons, they had promised to buy or to sell something and failed to stick to their promises, so they were killed, as it is usual in half-bandit circles. Traces of a murderer have been recently found in Germany. Or Zmitser Zavadsky from the First Channel. How could he be an opponent to me, he is a person with a secondary education.

Why should I have killed him? Do you want to know the truth about that? There was a para-military group in Belarus, it was headed by some person Ihnatovich. They were well-trained guys from the task forces (spetsnaz) of the USSR. They went to Chechnya during the war and were fighting on the side of Moscow. They were climbing mountains, waiting in ambush, browbeating separatists. It was a very strong support group. They fought and returned home. Sharamet and Zavadsky came to them to make an item for Russian TV. It was said in the item that these Belarusian citizens are fighting on the side of Chechen separatists against federal troops. An interview of Ihnatovich was taken, and then they said he was fighting against Russians. Sharamet managed to wiggle out of the situation, while Zavadsky was caught. First some man-to-man showdown started: “Why have you said lies about us?” And they killed Zavadsky. Ihnatovich was sentenced to life and stays in our colony. The cameraman was killed, and this provocateur Sharamet is sitting in Moscow and writing all sort of nasty things bout Belarus,” Lukashenka stated.

It should be noted that in the interview Lukashenka called Valerty Ihnatovich and his gang “well-trained guys from the task forces (spetsnaz) of the USSR”. In reality, Ihnatovich was an officer of Almaz, the special squad of the Belarusian Interior Ministry. Ihnatovich’s group also included several acting and former officers of “Almaz” and other Belarusian special detachments.

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