IPU Logo-middleInter-Parliamentary Union  
IPU Logo-bottomChemin du Pommier 5, C.P. 330, CH-1218 Le Grand-Saconnex/Geneva, Switzerland  


Resolution adopted unanimously by the IPU Governing Council at its 184th session
(Addis Ababa, 10 April 2009)

The Governing Council of the Inter-Parliamentary Union,

Referring to the case of Mr. Victor Gonchar, a member of the Thirteenth Supreme Soviet of Belarus, as outlined in the report of the Committee on the Human Rights of Parliamentarians (CL/184/12(b)-R.1), and to the resolution adopted at its 183rd session (October 2008),

Taking into account the letter from the delegation of Belarus handed over to the Committee during the 120th Assembly, and of the information provided by one of the sources on 19 December 2008 and 15 January 2009,

Recalling that the investigation into the disappearance, on 16 September 1999, of Mr. Victor Gonchar and his friend Anatoly Krasovsky has as yet yielded no result and that the authorities have consistently refuted the conclusions of a report by the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe into disappearances for allegedly political reasons in Belarus (Pourgourides report), which provided evidence linking high officials to the disappearance of Mr. Gonchar and Mr. Krasvosky; recalling in this respect that Mr. Pourgourides gathered evidence, including a handwritten document from the then Police Chief, General Lapatik, the authenticity of which the Belarusian authorities have acknowledged, in which General Lapatik accuses Mr. V. Sheyman, then Secretary of the Belarusian Security Council, of having ordered the killing of Mr. Zakharenko, a former Minister of the Interior, and that the order was carried out by a special task force (SOBR unit) under the command of Colonel Pavlichenko with the assistance of the then Minister of the Interior, Mr. Sivakov, who provided Colonel Pavlichenko with the official execution pistol temporarily removed from SIZO-1 prison, and that the same method was used in the execution of Mr. Gonchar and Mr. Krasovsky,

Considering that in their letter the Belarusian delegation reiterated that despite the extensive work of the prosecution which has followed all possible lines of inquiry, such as mercenary motives, personal ill will and political and business activities, and even examined the information contained in the Pourgourides report, Mr. Gonchar's whereabouts have still not been determined; that, however, the case has not been closed and that the investigation has been extended to 24 June 2009; noting also that, according to one of the sources, a new investigator, Mr. Y.V. Varavko, has been appointed and that he reportedly refused to meet with Mr. Gonchar's wife as there “was no reason to meet”,

Considering that the delegation reported that, in 2008 alone, the House of Representatives had sent five requests for information to the Prosecutor General's office regarding this case, that it shared the IPU's concerns in this case and would therefore, on its own initiative, report any new development that might come to the knowledge of parliament,

Noting that Mrs. Krasovsky and her daughter submitted a communication under the Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights to the Human Rights Committee, which on 16 October 2008 declared it admissible and invited the Belarusian authorities to provide observations regarding the admissibility and the merits of the communication; noting also that, according to the Belarusian delegation, the corresponding Belarusian law-enforcement agencies are responsible for considering this issue,

  1. Thanks the delegation for the information and observations provided and appreciates the constant cooperation of the parliament with the IPU in this matter;

  2. Deeply regrets that the investigation has remained at a standstill and hopes that the new investigator will lend it fresh impetus; believes in this respect that it would be normal practice for a new investigator to meet with interested parties, in particular the families of the victims, if only to show compassion and interest in the fate of the victims;

  3. Notes that the petition lodged by Mrs. Krasovsky and her daughter is now pending before the United Nations Human Rights Committee, and requests the Secretary General to inform that Committee of the IPU's work on this case and its concerns;

  4. Points out that the authorities have so far failed to provide convincing evidence to refute certain findings of the Pourgourides report, and requests the Secretary General to inform that new parliamentary authorities of the specific questions which it has raised in the past in this connection, especially in its October 2007 resolution;

  5. Requests the Committee to continue examining this case and report to it at its next session, to be held on the occasion of the 121st Assembly of the IPU (October 2009).
Note: you can download a complete electronic version of the brochure "Results of the 120th IPU Assembly and related meetings" in PDF format (file size 697K approximately). This version requires Adobe Acrobat Reader, which you can download free of charge.Get Acrobat Reader