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Paviel Znaviets: Public International Tribunal – First Agency Under Dictatorship That Can Be Viewed As Independent of the Current Authorities.

2005 2005-10-25T10:00:00+0300 1970-01-01T03:00:00+0300 en The Human Rights Center “Viasna” The Human Rights Center “Viasna”
The Human Rights Center “Viasna”

On 12 October the political council of the democratic forces of Belarus supported the initiate to create an international tribunal to investigate the crimes committed under Lukashenka's regime. This initiative comes from Ludmila Karpienka, the widow of the renowned Belarusian politician, who died in April 1999 in unidentified circumstances.
As regards the creation of such an organization, there is in fact one already. There are people both in Belarus and beyond, who have been dealing with the problem for several years: they scrutinize various documents, record the evidence given by different people, compare different facts… In one word they are involved with fact-finding. Most importantly, they are looking for the traces of the disappeared people: Iury Zakharanka, Viktar Hanchar, Anatol Krasouski, Zmitsier Zavadzki…
A certified lawyer in the field of international law, which he taught in Belarusian State University, Paviel Znaviets explained to Radio Liberty that "the people who set up an international public tribunal act according to the Constitution of the Republic of Belarus (Article 61) that allows citizens to seek assistance from international structures after exploring all options in the country according to the national legislation, and other legal documents. A public international tribunal is the first agency under dictatorship that can be viewed as independent of the current authorities. Everything is done according to international law".
Hienadz Karpienka's widow hopes that an international public tribunal will provide answers to many important questions: "I do not doubt it that Hienadz was murdered. In the first days I did not think of that because I was in the state of shock. The more time I spend dwelling on this, comparing facts, the more I understood that that was not an ordinary death. And what Hienadz had said before murder and how some people behaved – even those who saw him on the last day, and many other facts". "When this tribunal takes place and passes a verdict, the countries with universal jurisdiction may, according to international law, launch criminal persecution against Aliaxandr Lukashenka. This status, that of a person suspected of committing crimes against humanity, will not give him either a moral or legal right to take part in the Presidential elections. The verdict will, of course, be sent to all international structures and Belarusian organs, even to such a quasi-parliament as the Chamber of Representatives, to the Republican Procurator's Office, etc", said Paval Znaviets, a colleague of Hienadz Karpienka in the Supreme Soviet of the 13th Convocation.

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