The dictator may be involved in the crimes in Bucha.
The charitable foundation “Vilna Bilorus” (“Free Belarus”), registered in Ukraine, launched the “Tribunal” project. Its purpose is to collect, record and securely store information “on representatives of the Lukashenka regime, their accomplices and the crimes they have committed”, including those that have occurred on the territory of Ukraine since 2014. The information collected by the Tribunal, according to representatives of the fund, will be used to inform Belarusians and the world community, and in the future may be needed during “investigations, trials, during lustration,” Deutsche Welle reports.
The presentation of the project took place on Thursday, June 8, at a press conference in the Seimas of Lithuania. A day earlier, the Vilna Bilorus Foundation opened the exhibition “With Ukraine in the Heart”, dedicated to the Belarusian volunteers who died in Ukraine.
The Tribunal launched a chatbot for witnesses of the crimes of the Belarusian regime
Lawyer of the Vilna Bilorus Foundation Oleksandr Rakitski said that the Tribunal will collect information both about crimes falling under the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court, such as “genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes, crimes of aggression”, and about crimes falling under the Criminal Code of the Republic of Belarus.
The formation of the database, according to him, will come from open sources, the media, social networks, as well as eyewitness accounts of crimes. To do this, a chatbot was launched on the project website. “The result of the system will be a list of individuals, representatives of the regime and their accomplices, a dossier will be drawn up for each,” Rakitski said.
The creators of the Tribunal already have “tens of gigabytes of information” about crimes of various scales, ranging from the provision of the territory of Belarus for the invasion of Russian troops into Ukraine, which can be qualified as a “crime of aggression”, ending with “crimes of vandalism committed by government officials” when, for example, they destroy Polish graves. Now all data is being verified.
Oleksandr Rakitski is sure that the more information resources and people will collect such information, the better, because “there are a huge number of crimes”, and it is important that none go unpunished.
Deputy Chairman of the Lithuanian Seimas Committee for European Affairs Emanuelis Zingeris, in turn, cited the forced landing of a Ryanair aircraft in Minsk in May 2021 as an example: “We (the Lithuanian side — edit.) recorded one of the crimes — the hijacking of an aircraft flying to Vilnius. ICAO (International Civil Aviation Organization — edit.) has officially declared this international terrorism.”
Is the Lukashenka regime involved in crimes on the territory of Ukraine?
Member of the Bucha city council (Kyiv region) Vasil Oleksyuk, who also took part in the press conference, does not rule out that the citizens of Belarus may be involved in war crimes in Bucha. According to him, the inhabitants of the city saw at the checkpoints (in the spring of 2022 — edit.) people in “Russian uniforms with chevrons of the Belarusian armed forces”. “They guarded and controlled part of the territory of the Bucha settlement near the Passage shopping center, at checkpoints on the outskirts of the city,” the deputy added. Oleksyuk found it difficult to answer the clarifying question of journalists whether they were mercenaries or the regular army of Belarus.
In turn, Ukrainian public figure Anton Hulidin said that at the moment, until “the relevant bodies and international institutions” have conducted an investigation, it cannot be argued that the servicemen from Belarus are involved in the crimes in Bucha. Nevertheless, according to him, one should not forget that “the offensive in Ukraine was from Belarus”, that “there were accomplices who trained and technically accompanied the Russian military”. He also noted that the Tribunal project will help “collect all information about war crimes committed by the Russian Federation or representatives of the Republic of Belarus.” “This is very important so that later everyone would be punished for what happened on the territory of Ukraine,” added Hulidin.
Many Ukrainians ended up in Belarusian prisons
The representative of the Ukrainian Embassy in Belarus, Ilya Zvenigorodsky (in March 2022, the Belarusian authorities accused him and a number of embassy employees of espionage and expelled him from the country — edit.) spoke about the infringement of the rights of Ukrainians on the territory of Belarus. “Now this is a large-scale phenomenon, since many of our citizens are in prison,” the diplomat said. Some of them were officially recognized as political prisoners by the Belarusian human rights community, some were not, but, according to Zvenigorodsky, in fact, they are also political prisoners: “The regime, the KGB detained them and put them in prison just because they were Ukrainians, just because that they are against the position of the official Minsk”.
The speaker also recalled that “Ukrainian children were repeatedly taken out of the occupied territories of Ukraine without the permission of the Ukrainianother authorities to the territory of Belarus”. “They were not tortured, they were not oppressed, but they were subjected to propaganda. They were not asked whether they wanted to go there or not, many of them were against it, but could not show their will,” the diplomat said.
He noted that the materials relating to the illegal transfer of Ukrainian children to the territory of the Republic of Belarus are already in the Prosecutor General's Office of Ukraine, and the results of the investigation can be used for "further sanctions against individuals and legal entities of Belarus." authorities to the territory of Belarus”. “They were not tortured, they were not oppressed, but they were subjected to propaganda. They were not asked whether they wanted to go there or not, many of them were against it, but could not express their will,” the diplomat said.
He noted that the materials relating to the illegal transfer of Ukrainian children to the territory of the Republic of Belarus are already in the Prosecutor General's Office of Ukraine, and the results of the investigation can be used for “further sanctions against individuals and legal entities of Belarus”.