Investigation of demolition of crosses in Kurapaty extended

2009 2009-05-27T17:38:23+0300 1970-01-01T03:00:00+0300 en The Human Rights Center “Viasna” The Human Rights Center “Viasna”
The Human Rights Center “Viasna”

Investigation of the criminal case of destruction of six memorial crosses in Kurapaty was extended till June 20.

BelaPAN has learnt this from an anonymous officer of the Baraulyany district militia department of Minsk.

The case was instigated on April 20 under part 1 of article 339 of the Criminal Code (hooliganism).

Four crosses were destroyed on the eastern edge of Kurapaty, two on the northern side near Zaslaue–Kalodzishchy road. The broken crosses were found by activists of the Conservative Christian Party BPF in the morning April 17. Militia officers, called to the site, conducted necessary investigative actions, including taking photo, measuring, questioning CCP-BPF activists.

Two more criminal cases were instigated over acts of vandalism in Kurapaty. So, a Minsk militia department extended till May 30 an investigation of a criminal case over destruction of memorial crosses in the memorial complex by two minor Minsk dwellers detained at the site on November 1, 2008 by public activists Alyaksandr Makau and Aleh Svirydau. On April 4, the Minsk militia department opened a criminal case over the fact of desecrating two graves in Kurapaty on April 2–3. The case is now being investigated by the militia department of the Minsk region executive committee. The investigation has been extended till June 4.

On April 10, Anton Astapovich, head of the Belarusian Voluntary Society for Historic and Cultural Heritage Protection, offered the Ministry of Internal Affairs to organize patrolling of Kurapaty by soldiers of military unit 3310 – the second separate special militia brigade based in Akolitsa village (the Minsk region). The militia department of the Minsk region executive committee rejected the offer giving a number of objective reasons.

Under different estimations, from 30 to 200 thousand of victims of Stalin’s regime were buried on the territory of historical and cultural complex Kurapaty, a place of execution of victims of political repressions in 1930–40ies. The memorial complex is included in the list of the historic and cultural heritage of Belarus.