Lukashenka’s minions behind murder? Ex-Interior Minister went missing 18 years ago

Yury Zakharanka, a former Interior Minister of Belarus, disappeared on May 7, 1999. However, the Belarusian authorities are still in no hurry to take the case of the missing opponent of Alyaksandr Lukashenka to court, although the recent resolution of the UNHRC compelled Belarus to immediately re-investigate Zakharenka’s case.

The investigation that has been lasting for decades must be completed. The UN Human Rights Committee considered a complaint against the Belarusian authorities filed by the ex-minister mother Ulyana Zakharanka. In her opinion, the case is politically motivated.

Aleh Volchak, a human rights activist anf former investigator, doubts that the UN Resolution matters to president Alyaksandr Lukashenka; he is sure that the document will come into force only after the change of power in Belarus.

The conclusions of international experts are peremptory: the Committee found violations of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights on three items: the right to life, prohibition of torture and ill-treatment and the right to security of person. Like Belarusian human rights activists, they believe that Yury Zakharanka might have fallen victim to the pro-regime death squads.

“It is apparent that Lukashenka’s closest associates – Sheyman, Paulyuchenka, Sivakou who served and are serving him faithfully” – had a hand in it,” said the deputy chairman of the United Civic Party Leu Marholin.

Lukashenka’s regime victims: jailed, abducted, killed (Turn English subs on)

Yury Zakharanka’s family have waited for the UNHRC resolution for three years. Now the Belarusian authorities have six months to comply with its requirements, i.e conducting a transparent investigation into the case and punishing offenders. But, according to Leu Marholin, the investigation will not be brought to the end and the perpetrators will not be held liable either.

“Firstly, they [doers] know a lot and can reveal that the orders were given from the very top; secondly, Lukashenka feels he is in need of loyal people, because no one but them will protect him,” the politician said.

On May 7, 1999 he was kidnapped by unidentified individuals. His whereabouts is still unknown. General Zakharanka who was 47 when he went missing tops the list of disappeared politicians in Belarus. After leaving the position of Interior Minister Mr Zakharanka joined the opposition. He had authority with servicemen and initiated establishing of the independent Union of Officers which could have stood up against the president.

Aleh Alkayeu, a former head of Minsk predetention centre No 1, carried out his private investigation of the Belarusian politicians’ enforced disappearance. Mr Alkayeu is sure that former Minister of Interior Yury Zakharanka was assassinated by order of Alyaksandr Lukashenka’s minions, and videorecordings of the execution do exist.

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