1 December 2020, Tuesday, 14:56
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Garavsky Gave Evidence in Geneva for Missing Politicians

Garavsky Gave Evidence in Geneva for Missing Politicians

A former SWAT officer also stated he was ready to testify in the European Parliament.

Former SWAT officer Yury Garavsky who previously confessed complicity in the murder of the Belarusian opposition members gave evidence to members of the Committee on the Human Rights of Parliamentarians of the Inter-Parliamentary Union, reports Deutsche Welle.

Garavsky gave evidence regarding his involvement in the kidnappings of the year 1999 and murders of Belarusian opposition members, as he had previously told DW. Post-hearing resolution is expected on November 4.

The meeting of the IPU Committee

The meeting lasted about an hour. Yury Garavsky informs it was held online due to the pandemic. According to the former SWAT officer, he introduced himself, told when, where and what he did in Belarus, and then answered questions.

The first question regarded his vision of the best way to investigate the disappearance of the Belarusian opposition activists - former Interior Minister Yury Zakharenka, former head of the Central Election Commission Viktar Hanchar and businessman Anatol Krasouski.

"In the light of the activity Germany and France demonstrate now - their leaders met with Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya - I told that a trilateral investigation commission was needed. In addition to the Germans and the French, it should include representatives of the Belarusian authorities," Garavsky added. He also explained what made him confess his complicity in the murder of Aliaksandr Lukashenka's critics: "I answered that I wanted to live". Moreover, Garavsky was ready to testify in the European Parliament.

The IPU and the investigation into the disappearance of Hanchar

The IPU informs that a session of the IPU Committee on the Human Rights of Parliamentarians was held on October 22. It considered "the case of Mr. Hanchar and other cases of persecution or persecution of deputies". The hearing aims "to collect information so that the committee could make the most grounded decisions".

Belarus is a member of the IPU, which was created to coordinate the actions of the world's parliaments. The organization regularly passes resolutions on various issues, including decisions on complaints about violations of the rights of parliamentarians.

The IPU Committee on Human Rights of Parliamentarians initiated its work on violation of Viktar Hanchar's rights back in 1998, before his disappearance together with businessman Anatol Krasouski in September 1999. Since then, the IPU has constantly called for an effective investigation and tried to cooperate with the Belarusian authorities.

On November 4, the Committee intends to adopt a resolution on the case of Viktar Hanchar. According to Yury Garavsky, the resolution will be a small step towards the investigation regarding the disappeared opposition members. However, he believes no progress in the investigation is possible until Aliaksandr Lukashenka is in power.

Yury Garavsky's confessions

Yuri Garavsky escaped Minsk in the fall of 2018. He sought asylum in Switzerland and has been waiting for a decision on his application. He told DW that in 1999, he had been involved in kidnapping and murder of Lukashenka's opponents - former Interior Minister Yury Zakharenka former head of the Central Election Commission Viktar Hanchar, and opposition businessman Anatol Krasouski, by order of the founder of SWAT Lieutenant Colonel Dzmitry Paulichenka. According to Garavsky, Paulichenka personally killed the kidnapped.

When Yury Garavsky admitted his involvement in the murders of the Belarusian opposition activists, in December 2019 the Investigative Committee of Belarus resumed preliminary investigations into the cases regarding the disappearance of Zakharenka, Hanchar and Krasouski. However, the investigation was suspended in March 2020.