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Resolution adopted unanimously by the IPU Governing Council at its 185th session
(Geneva, 21 October 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 who disappeared together with his friend Anatoly Krasovsky on 16 September 1999, as outlined in the report of the Committee on the Human Rights of Parliamentarians (CL/185/11(b)-R.1), and to the resolution adopted at its 184th session (April 2009),

Taking into account the information provided by one of the sources on 25 June 2009, forwarding an interview of President Lukashenko published in the Russian newspaper Zavtra,

Recalling the following:

  • The investigation into the disappearance, on 16 September 1999, of Mr. Victor Gonchar and his friend Anatoly Krasovsky has yielded no result and 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 senior officials to the disappearance of Mr. Gonchar and Mr. Krasovsky; Mr. Pourgourides had gathered evidence to this effect, 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 Pavlishenko, with the assistance of the then Minister of the Interior, Mr. Sivakov, who provided Colonel Pavlishenko with the official execution pistol temporarily removed from SIZO-1 prison; the same method was reportedly used in the execution of Mr. Gonchar and Mr. Krasovsky;

  • The Belarusian authorities have consistently stressed that despite the extensive investigative work carried out, and despite examining all possible leads, no tangible results have been obtained; however, the case has not been closed and, according to information provided in April 2009, the investigation was extended to 24 June 2009;

  • According to one of the sources, a new investigator, Mr. Y.V. Varavko, was appointed, but reportedly refused to meet with Mr. Gonchar’s wife as there “was no reason to meet”;

  • 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, invited the Belarusian authorities to provide observations regarding the admissibility and the merits of the communication; the Government is due to submit its observations by 15 November 2009,
Considering that, in the interview he gave to the Zavtra newspaper, President Lukashenko stated that the cases of Mr. Gonchar and Mr. Krasovsky “were murders for business reasons; they had to buy or sell something and failed to stick to their promises, so they were killed, as is usual in ‘half-bandit’ circles; traces of a murderer have recently been found in Germany”,
  1. Deplores the fact that more than 10 years have now elapsed since the disappearance of Mr. Gonchar and Mr. Krasovsky without the Belarusian authorities having been able to elucidate their fate; and regrets that they have failed to provide convincing evidence to refute the findings of the Pourgourides report;

  2. Sincerely hopes that the examination of Mr. Krasovsky’s case by the United Nations Human Rights Committee will also contribute to elucidating the fate of Mr. Gonchar, and requests the IPU Committee to share with the UN Committee the information it has on file;

  3. Notes with interest President Lukashenko’s statement, as quoted above, and would appreciate receiving information as to the evidence that enabled him to make that statement, particularly since earlier allegations that business motives were behind the disappearance seemed to have not been substantiated;

  4. Assumes that this evidence is also in the possession of the investigator and can be shared with the families of the victims; is concerned in this respect that the new investigator is said to have refused to meet with Mrs. Gonchar; would appreciate information as to the grounds for that refusal; wishes also to ascertain the current stage of the investigation;

  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 122nd IPU Assembly (March-April 2010).
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