Valiantsin Stefanovich: ‘People are eliminated in Belarus. It is terrible’
‘I was shocked by the death of Yana Paliakova. The cases when people are eliminated are becoming more frequent in Belarus,’ commented to the press-center of Charter97 the human rights activist Valiantsin Stefanovich.
‘I cannot recollect a single case when we managed to bring any criminal cases for abuse of the official powers by policemen, though there were many such incidents. As a rule, the police used violence towards democratic activists. In the system where courts and prosecutors’ offices are completely dependent, it is practically impossible to get the justice. There is no control over the law-enforcement agencies from the side of the civil society. In the regions the situation is even more complicated, as the law machinery there is closely bound with the executive authorities.
I recollect the case of Zubr activist Andrei Zaitsau from Homel. He phoned to me and told about severe pressurization from the side of KGB. He wanted to come to Minsk and meet with us, but the following day he committed suicide.
The cases when people are eliminated are becoming more frequent. It is terrible. The whole state system with its mass media is set against a person. Yesterday’s insulting article in Sovetskaya Belorussiya witnesses, that it is not a simple case,’ said Valiantsin Stefanovich to the press-service of Charter’97.
Bear in mind that Salihorsk human rights activist Yana Paliakova committed suicide in the night of 6-7 March.
On 3 March the judge of Salihorsk district court Burautsou sentenced her to 2.5 years of personal restraint under Article 400, part 2 of the Criminal Code, ‘knowingly false delation’. She was also sentenced to pay a compensation for ‘moral harm’ to the police inspector V.Puhachou, who has recently retired.
In November 2008 a great publicity received the harassment of the human rights activist by the law machinery. Yana Paliakova told that she had been detained several times for her oppositional activities. She was beaten at the police department, and the policemen almost fractured her hand once. Yana Paliakova was also a member of the initiative group of Volha Kazulina at the latest presidential elections.