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The commemoration day staged by Belarusian Association of Journalists on 7 July. The event was in commemoration of the 5th anniversary of the ORT cameraman's disappearance, a member of BAJ, Dzmitry Zavadski, those who attended the event recalled Veranika Charkasava, a Salidarnasts journalist brutally murdered in October 2004

2005 2005-07-08T10:00:00+0300 1970-01-01T03:00:00+0300 en The Human Rights Center “Viasna” The Human Rights Center “Viasna”
The Human Rights Center “Viasna”

At 6 p.m. in Kastrychnitskaya Square in Minsk a peaceful action Chain of Concerned People was to have taken place, but the riot police dispersed the people. As they did so, Sviatlana Zavadskaya, the wife of the disappeared TV cameraman, received a strong blow on the face.

Around 40 journalists gathered on 7 July in Kurapaty to commemorate the 5th anniversary of the tragic disappearance of a member of the Belarusian Association of Journalists, a cameraman of the Russian TV Channel ORT, Dzmitry Zavadzki, and also honor the memory of Veranika Charkasava, a Salidarnasts journalist brutally murdered on 20 October last year. Both colleagues of Veranika and Dzmitry, and their relations attended the Day of Commemoration event. Those present there held candles and portraits of Charkasava and Zavadzki. According to the deputy chair of Belarusian Association of Journalists Eduard Melnikau, the location for the event was not accidental, because "murders and disappearances of the journalists and common people are a sign of all totalitarian communities, with Kurapaty being vivid evidence.

"Kurapaty is the land where the most horrible crimes of the Stalin regime occurred, the land which took in all of the human pain. Our pain – the pain of the journalists and the relations – is what happened to Dzmitry Zavadzki and Veranika Charkasava", noted the chair of BAJ Zhanna Litvina. "Today on the fifth anniversary of Dzmitry Zavadzki's disappearance, we only demand one thing from the authorities – say: where Dzmitry is, where are the criminals behind the abduction of our colleague? Together with the authoritative international organization Reporters without Borders we sent the Belarusian leadership yet another request for an answer to this questions", informed the chair of Belarusian Association of Journalists.

Veranika Charkasava's and Dzmitry Zavadzki's mothers thanked the colleagues for their children and for not forgetting Dzmitry and Veranika. "Thanks to your efforts, the authorities do not stay calm, feel unnerved, you do not let them forget what happened to Dzmitry, their responsibility for what happened", said Volha Ryhorauna, Zavadzki's mother. "Now such events do not happen only here but also in many European capitals. Even in Moscow today Paval Sharamet is addressing the people who gathered for the conference dedicated to the murdered Russian journalists, but he will be mentioning Dzmitry there, too", said the wife of the disappeared TV cameraman Sviatlana Zavadzkaya.

The representative of the Zavadzkis in courts – the deputy chair of the Belarusian Helsinki Committee Hary Pahaniala noted that "all possible legal options to solve Zavadzki's case here in Belarus have been explored. That's why we will resort to the foreign courts entitled to deal with such cases. That's the reason why the authorities are so much afraid that we are not forgetting what happened to Zavadzki", underscored the renowned lawyer.

The senior editor of the Salidarnasts Aliaxandr Starykievich said he was sure that the reasons and circumstances of the murder of Veranika Charkasava and the disappearance of Dzmitry Zavadzki will come to light one day. "Now we are in the dark and very difficult time, but it will not continue forever", said the journalist.

"We are vulnerable, but we are strong. Those behind the crimes committed against Veranika Charkasva and Dzmitry Zavadzki are also vulnerable. The difference is that some will live on in people's memory, while others will be cursed", summed up the deputy chair of Belarusian Association of Journalists Tatsiana Melnichuk.

After short speeches those present there put the candles near the Great Kurapaty Cross. By the way, the entire event was closely watched by unidentified people in plain clothes and several uniformed police.

At 6 p.m. in Kastrychnitskaia Square in Minsk a Chain of Concerned People dedicated to the fifth anniversary of the tragic disappearance of Dzmitry Zavadzki was to have taken place. But the people had hardly formed a line at the square and unfolded posters with the photo of the disappeared journalist when the riot police appeared and started driving the people off to the Svislach River. The huge police officers pushed the women, snapped and tore into pieces portraits of Zavadzki. Sviatlana, Dzmitry's wife, who walked alongside the son Iury, received a powerful punch right on the face. The riot police drove the people off to Niamiha Street, where they left them alone.

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