“To Be a Politician in Belarus Is to Take Extreme Risks”, -- says the families of the disappeared in their statement in support of the hunger-strikers
Minsk, June 11, 2004
Appeal to the citizens of Belarus:
We are witnessing an extraordinary situation today: 10 people have gone on a termless hunger strike, among them MPs Uladzimir Parfianovich, Valery Fralow, and Siarhei Skrabets.
The demands raised by the protesters concern every one of us: they demand amendments to the election legislation which will enable us to elect representatives who will substantially advocate our interests.
During its whole term the present parliament has been ignoring our problem – disappearance of Belarusian politicians, our sons and husbands. Our numerous appeals have remained without response. Only some of the MPs had the courage to raise this issue on the parliamentary level. Today they risk their health and even lives for the say of every one of us. Other MPs, our elected representatives, are indifferent to the fate of our abducted relatives, their colleagues on hunger strike, as well as to the problems we have. Unfortunately, to be an honest politician with one’s own opinion in our country means to take extreme risks. Our relatives were abducted, today lives of Uladzimir Parfianovich, Valery Fralow, Siarhei Skrabets, and people who have joined them are under threat. We express solidarity with these courageous people. Those who have created this critical situation should remember they will soon have to answer for their actions or inaction: some – to their own consciousness, and some – in law.
Ullana R. Zakharanka, mother of Yury Zakharanka, abducted in 1999
Valantsina A. Hanchar, mother of Viktar Hanchar, abducted in 1999
Zinaida A. Hanchar, wife of Viktar Hanchar, abducted in 1999
Volha R. Zavadskaya, mother of Dzmitry Zavadski, abducted in 2000