Belarus activist Vitaly Shishov discovered hanged in Ukraine park – Nationwide |

2021-08-03 19:29:32

A Belarusian activist who ran a gaggle in Ukraine serving to Belarusians fleeing persecution was discovered useless within the Ukrainian capital, Kyiv, native police stated Tuesday.

Vitaly Shishov, chief of the Kyiv-based Belarusian Home in Ukraine, was discovered hanged in one of many metropolis’s parks not removed from his dwelling, police stated in an announcement.

A probe has been launched, with police investigating whether or not it was a suicide or a homicide made to appear like suicide, head of Ukraine’s Nationwide Police Igor Klymenko informed reporters on Tuesday.

The Belarusian Home in Ukraine reported Monday that Shishov had gone lacking throughout a morning run. The Belarusian human rights heart Viasna cited Shishov’s buddies as saying that he has lately been adopted by strangers throughout his runs.

The Belarusian Home in Ukraine helps Belarusians fleeing persecution with their authorized standing in Ukraine, lodging and employment.

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In Belarus in latest weeks, authorities have ramped up the stress in opposition to non-governmental organizations and unbiased media, conducting greater than 200 raids of workplaces and flats of activists and journalists in July alone, and detaining dozens of individuals.

Authoritarian President Alexander Lukashenko has vowed to proceed what he referred to as a “mopping-up operation” in opposition to civil society activists whom he has denounced as “bandits and international brokers.”

Lukashenko confronted months of protests triggered by his being awarded a sixth time period in an August 2020 vote that the opposition and the West noticed as rigged. He responded to demonstrations with a large crackdown that noticed greater than 35,000 individuals arrested and hundreds overwhelmed by police.

Belarus’ authoritarian authorities has at instances gone to extremes in its crackdown on dissent, together with lately diverting a aircraft to the capital of Minsk and arresting a dissident aboard.

The Belarusian Home in Ukraine stated in an announcement Tuesday that Shishov was compelled to maneuver to Ukraine within the fall of 2020, when antigovernment protests and crackdown on demonstrators in Belarus have been in full swing.

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In Ukraine, he was beneath surveillance, and “each native sources and our individuals in Belarus” have alerted the group to the potential of “numerous provocations, together with kidnapping and liquidation.”

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“There isn’t a doubt that this was a deliberate operation by safety operatives to liquidate a Belarusian, harmful for the regime. We are going to proceed to battle for the reality about Vitaly’s demise,” the group stated.

Yury Shchuchko from the Belarusian Home in Ukraine informed The Related Press that Shishov was discovered with marks of beating on his face. “Nothing was stolen, he was in common garments individuals placed on to work out, and he solely had his telephone with him,” Shchuchko stated.

He additionally stated that Shishov has beforehand observed surveillance throughout his runs and that strangers would strategy him and attempt to begin a dialog.

“We’ve got been warned to be extra cautious, as a result of a community of Belarus KGB brokers is working right here and every little thing is feasible,” Shchuchko stated. “Vitaly requested me to handle his family members, he had a bizarre feeling.”

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Klymenko of the Nationwide Police informed reporters on Tuesday that there have been certainly accidents found on Shishov’s physique — scratched pores and skin on his nostril, a minimize on his lip and an damage on his left knee. He wouldn’t say, nonetheless, whether or not these resulted from violence. Klymenko added that police haven’t obtained any complaints about surveillance from Shishov.

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Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya, Lukashenko’s fundamental challenger within the August 2020 election who left for Lithuania beneath stress from the authorities, expressed condolences to Shishov’s household on Tuesday.

“Belarusians can’t be protected even overseas, so long as there are those that are attempting to inflict revenge on them,” Tsikhnaouskaya stated in a web based assertion.

“Vitaly Shishov was serving to Belarusians and was discovered hanged … It occurred on one other nation’s soil. Similar to the hostage-taking happened on one other nation’s aircraft. Similar to the try and forcefully carry a disloyal athlete again to Belarus from one other nation’s territory,” she stated.

Earlier this week, Belarus Olympic sprinter Krystsina Tsimanouskaya accused the nation’s officers of hustling her to the airport and attempting to place her on a aircraft again to Belarus after she publicly criticized the administration of her crew on the Tokyo Video games. Tsimanouskaya refused to board the aircraft and as a substitute will search refuge in Europe.

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In an interview Tuesday, she informed the AP she feared she wouldn’t be protected in Belarus.

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European officers on Tuesday urged Ukraine to conduct a radical investigation into the demise of the activist.

“We’re deeply shocked by the information of the demise of the Belarusian activist Vitaly Shishov,” Austria’s International Ministry stated on Twitter. “Our ideas are together with his family members. Austria requires a radical and clear investigation into the circumstances resulting in his demise.”

Marta Hurtado, a spokeswoman for the U.N. human rights workplace, informed reporters in Geneva that the workplace hoped the authorities in Ukraine would conduct “a radical, neutral and efficient investigation on what occurred and see if it was only a suicide, if it was a daily legal homicide, or if there’s a relation together with his activism.”

© 2021 The Canadian Press

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