Relatives and friends of Dzmitry Zavadski, a Belarusian TV journalists and a member of BAJ, who disappeared 8 years, are still in the dark about his fate. The criminal case has been closed and restarted many times but no information is available. The actions his family members or civil activists try to organize in memory of Zavadski have been banned by the authorities. (07-JUL-08)
No permission given by Minsk City
Minsk City Executive Committee did not give Sviatlana Zavadskaja permission to organize a piquet dedicated to the 8th anniversary of her husband’s disappearance. Sviatlana Zavadskaja applied for holding a piquet on 7 July in front of the town hall in Minsk. But Mihail Tsitsiankou, Deputy Chairperson of Minsk City Executive Committee, sent her an official reply that states local authorities gave no permission as participants of such a piquet can “impede traffic and pedestrians”. Sviatlana Zavadskaja told BAJ Press Service she will not organize an unauthorized action as she would not like people to be beaten or driven away on such a day. “I think they want us to make our meetings somewhere in forest, but they should not count on that!” Sviatlana Zavadskaja said.
The authorities of Brest reacted in a similar way to an application of Andrei Sharanda, a local Za Svabodu (For Freedom) Movement activist. He applied for holding a piquet in the center of the city to attract attention to necessity of a real investigation of people disappearances in Belarus. The local authorities did not permit this piquet as it is forbidden to hold public actions in the center of the city.
Dzmitry Zavadski disappeared 7 July 2000 under indistinct circumstances when he drove to Minsk National Airport to meet his friend and colleague Pavel Sheremet, a journalist of Russian ORT TV Channel. Since then on nothing is known about him.In 2002 four people were found guilty by court of kidnapping Dzmitry Zavadski. In 2003 the court acknowledged Zavadski to be dead, although his body was never found.
International society’s appeals
April 28, 2004 the Parliamentary Assembly of Europe demanded that the Belarusian authorities let conduct an independent investigation of Dzmitry Zavadski´s case and displace the officials that were suspected of participation in the crime from their posts. The authorities ignored the appeal. Christos Purgurides, a Special Rapporteur of Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, prepared a special report on disappeared people in Belarus in 2004, and he suggested investigating of probable connection of Belarusian top officials to the fact of Zavadski’s disappearing.