Address of Relatives of Abducted Politicians and a Journalist to Prosecutor General
As it is known, one of the 12th recommendations of the EU to Belarus is “holding due independent investigation or revision of the cases of citizens’ disappearance”. On October 30 relatives of the oppositionists abducted in Belarus, Zinaida Hanchar, Iryna Krasouskaya, Svyatlana Zavadskaya, Volha Zavadskaya, and their legal representatives Harry Pahanyajla and Aleh Vouchak have handed over to the prosecutor general of Belarus a document, based on public investigation of these high-profile cases.
“A motion and have been taken by us to the office of the Prosecutor General on October 30. We haven’t received an answer still. The motion contains a request to the prosecutor’s office to study the facts carefully and find a solution within the competence of the prosecutor general’s office. We’ll wait a month, and then we are going to handle the problem why the prosecutor’s office is playing hide-and-seek with us. Today we have circulated a full text of the letter of accusation to the press. It’s our last address to the General Prosecutor’s office at the national level. After that we are going to proceed to the stage of implementation of international mechanics for solving the problem of the disappeared,” the Charter’97 press-center has been informed by a representative of the Zavadskys family, Harry Pahanyajla.
As said by the lawyer, these documents are a preliminary conclusion of the public investigation. ‘This document of 28 pages contains events and proofs which allow us to suspect high-ranking Belarusian officials of implication in these crimes. In this document we have summed up all actions performed during the years of the so-called investigation of the abduction cases. Back in January 2003 we addressed the KGB of Belarus with a petition on behalf of the complainants and their legal representatives with a request to bring up a criminal action against Navumau, Shejman, Paulichenka for “crimes against humanity”. We haven’t been reported about the results of actions concerning our address still. Upon an expiry of a month term we addressed the court of Tsentralny district of Minsk and appealed against failure to act by the bodies carrying out the investigation. The court denied this procedure referring to being beyond the jurisdiction of the court. We believe that the decision was knowingly unjust. We challenged the decision in the city court, then in the Supreme Court, but the judge’s ruling was upheld,” the lawyer underlined.
“It was our last petition to the prosecutor’s office at the national level. All other actions are to be aimed at looking for solution of the case in the European courts. I do not hope that something would be investigated in Belarus. I cannot claim, but there are too many facts that give evidence that high-ranking Belarusian persons know everything, but they are not going to answer us,” told the mother of the abducted journalist Volha Zavadskaya to the Charter’97 press-center.
Human rights activists believe that emergence of such a document is very important. “It’s a generalizing work. Its authors have done a lot to throw light on what happened in 1999-2000. It is very important, as long as the regime hadn’t answered where Hanchar, Zakharanka, Krasouski and Zavadsky had disappeared. We do not know culprits, and the European community reasonably suspects high-ranking Belarusian officials of implication in these disappearances. That is why our aim is to distribute this document. We hope we’ll find the truth and wait fair trial,” a well-known human rights activist Valyantsin Stefanovich told in an interview to the Charter’97 press-center.