Relatives of missing oppositionists demand that Lukashenka not be let in Lithuania

2009 2009-09-04T17:11:57+0300 1970-01-01T03:00:00+0300 en The Human Rights Center “Viasna” The Human Rights Center “Viasna”
The Human Rights Center “Viasna”

The Lithuanian-Belarusian economic forum, which Lukashenka plans to attend, is to open on 16 September. This day Viktar Hanchar and Anatol Krasouski were kidnapped ten years ago.

Zinaida Hanchar, the wife of the kidnapped former head of the Central Election Commission and vice speaker of the Supreme Council, sent a statement to president of Lithuania Dalia Grybauskaitė through the embassy of Lithuania in Belarus. The statement was also signed by Volha Zavadskaya and Uliana Zakharanka, the mothers of kidnapped ORT camera operator Zmitser Zavadski and former interior minister General Yury Zakharanka, website reports.

Lithuanian president Dalia Grybauskaite stated ahead of the forum she was ready to accept Alexander Lukashenka if he would ‘express such a wish’.

Zinaida Hanchar, Volha Zavadskaya, and Uliana Zakharanka address the president of Lithuania with a letter reminding about ‘serious evidence of involvement of high ranking officials in the crimes’ and about the fact ‘the Belarusian authorities demonstrate their unwillingness to investigate the cases objectively and ignore numerous demands of the Belarusian and world community’. ‘Turning a blind eye on this for the sake of money and profit is inadmissible,’ the families of the kidnapped believe. ‘From our point of view, Lukashenka’s visit will undoubtedly mean the acknowledgement of the legitimacy of present ruling regime in Belarus that is still suspected in terrible crimes,’ add the authors of the address.

Dalia Grybauskaitė is asked to ‘take necessary measures for this visit not to take place’.