Enforced Disappearances Have No Time Limitation
30 August is the international day of victims of enforced disappearances. Its establishment was initiated by the working group on enforced and involuntary disappearances of the UN Commission on Human Rights. At present the group consists of five experts. They consider the reports about the missing that are sent by their relatives or human rights organizations and take appropriate reaction. In addition, in December 2006 there was adopted the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance. Pitifully enough, the Republic of Belarus still has not ratified this document, despite the fact that this problem is a daily one for our country, where hundreds of people disappear every year.
The main attention of the international community is focused on the disappearances of the political opponents of the regime in Belarus. Bear in mind that in 1999 in Belarus the politicians Viktar Hanchar and Yury Zakharanka and a businessman Anatol Krasouski disappeared. In 2000 it happened to a TV journalist Dzmitry Zavadski.
The international organizations make regular statements about the necessity to find about the fate of the missing Belarusian opposition activists. The demand to disclose the crime is voiced in the resolutions of the UN Commission on Human Rights, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe and the Organization for Security and Cooperation. Much attention to this issue was paid by the special rapporteur of the UN Commission on Human Rights Adrian Severin. He pointed at the non-transparency of the investigation of the disappearances and called on the Belarusian government to resume the investigation of the disappearances of V.Hanchar, A.Krasouski, Yu.Zakharanka and Dz.Zavadski.
The UN Commission on Enforced and Involuntary Disappearance continues watching the case of the former interior minister Yury Zakharanka who had disappeared in 1999. Several days ago a corresponding UNO claim was received by the Zkharankas’ lawyer Aleh Volchak. According to him, the UN Commission is to gather at its extraordinary meeting for considering the record of investigations of the disappeared policymakers’ cases in Belarus.
Belarusian human rights activists have always paid especial attention to the problem of enforced disappearances in Belarus. They issued public statements to the international community and held pickets to turn public attention to this.
The vice-president of the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) Ales Bialiatski pointed that the policy of the Belarusian authorities does not favor finding the truth about the missing opponents of the regime. On the contrary, the authorities hide the truth from the citizens. Despite this, Belarusian human rights activists are convinced that sooner or later the Belarusian society will know the whole truth. Enforced disappearances have no time limitation.