International Day of the Disappeared marked today

2013 2013-08-30T14:03:23+0300 2013-08-30T14:03:23+0300 en The Human Rights Center “Viasna” The Human Rights Center “Viasna”
The Human Rights Center “Viasna”

The International Day of the Disappeared is marked today across the world. The tradition of marking the Day of the Disappeared on August 30 was launched in the 1980s by the Latin American Federation of relatives of disappeared people FEDEFAM.

The International Convention on the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance was adopted by the General Assembly of the United Nations on 20 December, 2006. The document was signed by 57 states. 19 countries have already ratified the Convention. Belarus is not on the list.

Meanwhile, the problem of enforced disappearances in Belarus is still relevant. In autumn 1999, two well-known opposition leaders - former Interior Minister Yury Zakharanka and vice-speaker of the Supreme Soviet of the 13th Convocation Viktar Hanchar, as well as businessman Anatol Krasouski – disappeared without a trace. In the summer of 2000, Dzmitry Zavadski, cameraman for the Russian TV channel ORT, disappeared.

The investigation into the case of the missing politicians, which lasted for nearly 14 years, has failed to establish any circumstances of their disappearance, nor those responsible for the crime. Meanwhile, the statute of limitations on these cases expires in a year. After 2014, the authorities can say that "we have done everything possible, but the bodies of the missing have not been found, and the perpetrators have not been established." Officially, their fate is unknown. According to unofficial data, they are victims of so called "death squad."

However, the cases of missing should not be forgotten, either in a year or in ten. For society, there cannot be statute of limitations, even after 15 years.