Suspect of Kidnapping and Possible Murders Rewarded by Russian Orthodox Church

2004 2004-08-12T10:00:00+0300 1970-01-01T03:00:00+0300 en The Human Rights Center “Viasna” The Human Rights Center “Viasna”
The Human Rights Center “Viasna”

Dzmitry Pawlichenka, suspected of abduction and possible murder of Lukashenka’s political opponents, was awarded with the order of the Russian Orthodox Church. Families of the disappeared are indignant about the award.
The RFE/RL reporter was told by Minsk diocesan board of the church that colonel Pawlichenka was rewarded for active participation in construction of a church on the territory of the military unit he commanded. Archbishop Filaret interceded with Alexei II, Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia, for Pawlichenka to get the award.
Senior priest Alexander Yatskevich explained, that Pawlichenka “directly participated in construction, and supported both physically and morally”.
On the question if the Church knows that Pawlichenka is one of the key figures in Christos Pourgourides’ report on the missing public and political figures, father Alexander replied:
“I don’t know absolutely anything. The Church and the eparchy do not participate in any kind of political actions. We have nothing to do with it, and know nothing about that”.
Secretary of Minsk eparchy Mikalai Korzhych claimed the same: “We don’t have any information, we don’t know if it’s true – it’s outside our competence”.
Meanwhile, the families of the disappeared are indignant about the award to Pawlichenka.