Belarusians demand Defense Minister resignation over alleged torture, murder of conscript

Human rights activists demand a thorough investigation into the criminal case over the death of conscript Alyaksandr Korzhych in Pechy (Barysau) and the resignation of Belarus Defense Minister Andrey Raukou.

Anyone who feels like it can sign a proper appeal to Belarusian authorities on

The 21-year-old soldier was found hanged in the basement in the territory of a military unit in Pechy, his legs were tied up. According to the family and friends, senior conscripts bullied, battered and tortured the young man to squeeze money out of him. As a result, they allegedly killed him and then faked his suicide. Officers were reportedly aware of the outrageous situation in the unit.

The Belarusian Investigative Committee opened a criminal case under Art. 443-3 of the Criminal Code (infringement of authorized rules on relations between servicemen who were not subordinated to each other, which entailed grave consequences). Thus, the Committee has officially admited that the death might have been caused by hazing at the hands of senior servicemen.

“The authorities are trying to convince us that there is no hazing in the Belarusian army. The tragedy that happened to the young soldier, proves otherwise – such abuse not only continues its triumphant march in the Belarusian army, it has actually turned into torture and has led to the murder. The public does not believe that the command was not aware of this,” says human rights activist Leanid Sudalenka.

The concerned Belarusians started sending appeals on Wednesday. On Thursday morning, their number reached 3,700.

“I hope that the Minister Raukou has been already reported that over 3,000 people put their signatures for his resignation – over just one night. And I hope he did have a troubled night was troubled,” Andrey Stryzhak, one of the authors of the appeal against humuliation and bullying in the Belarusian army, said on Facebook.

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