Opposition calls for UN inquiry into high-profile disappearances

Opposition politicians Yury Zakharanka and Viktar Hanchar, businessman Anatol Krasowski and journalist Dzmitry Zavadski went missing in 1999-2000.

A group of leading opposition politicians have asked the UN Security Council to conduct an international inquiry into the disappearances of Alyaksandr Lukashenka's opponents, BelaPAN reports.

Opposition politicians Yury Zakharanka and Viktar Hanchar, businessman Anatol Krasowski and journalist Dzmitry Zavadski went missing in 1999-2000.

They are widely believed to have been abducted and murdered by a government-run death squad.

In an August 5 appeal, which was sent to the foreign ministers of the UN Security Council's permanent members - China, France, Russia, the UK and the United States, the opposition politicians said that all "domestic, as well as regional and international" legal remedies for securing impartial inquiries into the disappearances had been exhausted.

"Alyaksandr Lukashenka, who has remained in power since the disappearances happened, has not created conditions for carrying out a reliable and impartial inquiry into the cases and blocked attempts by the international community to learn the truth about the fates of the disappeared," the appeal said.

The opposition politicians called on the UN Security Council to set up a special commission for probing the disappearances, referring to a UN inquiry into the assassination of ex-Lebanese Prime Minister, Rafik Hariri and other politically-motivated killings in the Middle East country as a precedent.

The appeal was signed by, among others, Stanislaw Shushkevich, Andrey Sannikaw, Anatol Lyabedzka, Mechyslaw Hryb, Syarhey Kalyakin, Alyaksey Yanukevich and Mikhail Marynich.

The politicians announced their plans to call for a UN inquiry into the disappearances at a news conference in mid-July.




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