20 January 2018, Saturday, 14:26

Viktar Ivashkevich dies


Viktar Ivashkevich, a Belarusian politician and activist, died at hospital in Minsk.

A co-founder of the Belarusian Popular Front, coordinator of the civil campaign European Belarus and member of the organising committee of the Belarusian Movement party died after a long disease. He was on a waiting list for a liver transplant, but a donor wasn't found.

The website charter97.org expresses condolences to Viktar Ivashkevich's family.

Viktar Ivashkevich was born in Minsk on September 21, 1959. He graduated from the extramural department of the Faculty of Journalism at Belarusian State University in 1991.

In the early 1980s, he was an active participant of informal youth national-democratic oganisations Maistrounia and Talaka, a talented organiser of rallies, including a march on the Daugava River against construction of the Daugavpils hydroelectric power station, an ecological march on the Prypiat River (which became one of the first Chernobyl rallies), a strike of bus drivers in Minsk. He also initiated opening strike committees on Minsk plants.

He was an activist of the committee to create the Belarusian Popular Front in 1988 and remained the secretary of the BPF Council until 1996. The politician was among organisers of the biggest protest rallies.

Viktar Ivashkevich has been the editor-in-chief of Rabochiy newspaper since 1997 and the vice president of the Belarusian Congress of Democratic Trade Unions since 1999. The politician was sentenced to 2 years in a special detention facility in 2002 for his article about Lukashenka “Thief must be in prison”.

He was an active member of Andrei Sannikov's team during the 2010 presidential election.

Viktar Ivashkevich received numerous administrative sanctions and was on hunger strike two times.