Greece Denies Entrance to Yury Sivakow

2004 2004-08-05T10:00:00+0300 1970-01-01T03:00:00+0300 en The Human Rights Center “Viasna” The Human Rights Center “Viasna”
The Human Rights Center “Viasna”

According to RFE/RL

Greece denied entrance to the minister of sport and tourism Yury Sivakow who was to have headed Belarusian delegation at the Olympics in Athens. The reason for this step was the report of the PACE special rapporteur Christos Pourgourides where possible relation of Yury Sivakow to disappearances of well-known people was mentioned.

Anonymous EU official said to RFE/RL that the decision of the Greek authorities was agreed with representatives of all other EU countries and the EU presidency is expected to make an official statement on this step.

We should remind that in 1999 there disappeared the former minister of internal affairs Yury Zakharanka, the former head of the Central Electoral Commission Viktar Hanchar and his friend, businessman Anatol Krasowski and in 2000 – the journalist Zmitser Zavadski.

Among the recommendations in this year’s report of the PACE rapporteur Christos Pourgourides there was the proposal to initiate criminal investigation for finding about the possible relation of duty officials of Belarus to the disappearances. Among the suspects there is Mr. Sivakow who was the minister of internal affairs at that time, the present prosecutor general Viktar Sheyman and the vice-colonel of internal affairs Zmitser Pawlichenka.

This decision was commented by the head of the PACE commission on Belarus Yonas Chekuolis:
-- This decision can be a result of the discussions we head at PACE in April, when the situation with the missing public activists in Belarus was discussed. The report of the Cypress deputy Pourourides contained surnames of the persons that could have relation to these disappearances. Sivakow was among them. We are grateful to European states for having paid attention to our conclusion, the conclusion of the Council of Europe.

Aliaksey Znatkevich and Yury Drakakhrust, Radio “Liberty”, Prague