28 June 2017, Wednesday, 11:49

Aleh Volchek: There’s Only Belarusian Trace In Political Kidnappings

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ALEH VOLCHEK
PHOTO: CHARTER97.ORG

The contractors and perpetrators of these abductions are known, but there is no political will for the investigation of these cases.

Head of the “Legal Assistance to Population” human rights center Aleh Volchek said that in his interview to The Belarusian Truth:

– The situation with Sviatlana Zavadskaya, Iryna Krasouskaya, Zinaida Hanchar, Volha Zakharanka is the same. The national legislation lays under obligation to investigate any person’s disappearance – one of the most serious offenses that is directed against human life.

When I used to work as an investigator, we were obliged to report every six months on the unsolved crimes, we made a search for the missing men according to special schedules. But the most important thing was that once or twice a year I had to visit relatives, to listen to their versions and to provide them with the information on the investigation. As we can see, no one visits the abducted politicians’ wives, they are ignored, nobody shares information with them. Sometimes the investigation carried the situation to the point of absurdity, completely refusing to contact the relatives of the abducted.

Over the past 17 years, the state could have investigated these political disappearances, establish and prosecute not only the perpetrators of these crimes, but the contractors as well. All the four had constantly been within eyesight of the security services.

The power, taking advantage of the warming with the West, with the United States, just ignore the issue of political disappearances. Moreover, over the past five years I have not seen any UN, OSCE, PACE resolutions, urging the Belarusian authorities to report on high-profile cases.

I am convinced that only Belarusian trace is there in all the political abductions. Otherwise, all the cases were already solved. I remember cases that were solved after 10 or 15 years. There are enough materials on Zakharanka, Hanchar, Krasouski, Zavadski’s political kidnappings. Only the political will is missing.

If the authorities do not agree with allegations, that Sheiman, Sivakou, Naumau, Paulichenka, Vasil’chanka are involved in political abductions, they have to make a ruling on refusal to initiate criminal proceedings and to present it to the public. There hasn’t been such a ruling so far – that means they are still under suspicion. The international community has not lifted sanctions against them.

Belarus’ reforming is impossible without the investigation of these political assassinations. Relation normalization with the West and the United States is impossible until the state purges itself of suspicion and proves its noninvolvement in the murder of the regime’s opponents. The political abductions’ detection should become a key issue in relations between the West, the United States with the official Minsk, especially now, when Lukashenka recognizes the need for this process. He also admits that the sanctions have affected the image of Belarus.

Therefore, I believe that progress will only begin from the moment, when the state comes up with the guilty of Yury Zakharanka, Viktar Hanchar, Anatol Krasouski, and Dzmitry Zavadski’s violent abductions. These issues directly affect our economy, the image of the state and everyone’s welfare. Many understand that these political disappearances affect us now.