20 November 2019, Wednesday, 18:39
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Mikhail Marynich dies

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Mikhail Marynich dies

A former political prisoner, ambassador and minister has died at the age of 74.

Charter97.org learnt it from his family.

Mikhail Marynich was born in the village of Starya Halavinchytsy (Petrykau distirct, Homel region) on January 13, 1940. He graduated from Belarusian Polytechnic Institute, Minsk Institute of Foreign Languages, Minsk Higher Party School. He is the honourary doctor of economics. He worked in the construction industry for 16 years, including three years in Afghanistan. Minsk's mayor from 1990 to 1991, a member of the Supreme Council in 1990-1994. Appointed Ambassador Plenipotentiary and Extraordinary of Belarus to the Czech Republic and concurrently to Slovakia and Hungary in 1994. Minister of foreign economic affairs of Belarus in 1994-1998, Ambassador Plenipotentiary and Extraordinary of Belarus to Latvia and concurrently to Estonia and Finland in 1999-2001.

He headed the Business Initiative NGO.

Mikhail Marynich was arrested on April 25, 2004. On December 30, the Minsk district court found him guilty of stealing computers from the US embassy, though it was the embassy's gift to the Business Initiative NGO. The board of the Minsk region court reduced the prison term from 5 to 3.5 years for his service to the state, old age and problems with health.

Mikhail Marynich had a stroke in the correctional facility in Orsha on March 7. Prison staff refused to provide him with medicines. Marynich was taken to the republican prison hospital in Minsk only due to efforts of the Belarusian and international community.

Many heads of state, including French president Jacques Chirac, Latvian president Vaira Vike-Freiberga, members of parliaments of many countries, members of the European Parliament, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe and the OSCE supported the political prisoner. The European Parliament adopted a resolution calling to release Marynich. The EU and the US Department of State issued statements urging to free him immediately. Amnesty International recognised Mikhail Marynich as a prisoner of conscience. The politician was amnestied in April 2008.

Mikhail Marynich was a member of Andrei Sannikov's team during the presidential election.

Charter97.org sends its condolences to the family of Mikhail Marynich.