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Resolution adopted unanimously by the IPU Governing Council at its 190th session
(Kampala, 5 April 2012)

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, Mr. Anatoly Krasovsky, on 16 September 1999, and to the resolution adopted at its 189th session (October 2011),

Recalling among the extensive case file data the following:

  • A report, published in 2004, of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe into disappearances for allegedly political reasons in Belarus (Pourgourides report) gives ground to believe that "steps were taken at the highest level of the State actively to cover up the true background of the disappearances, and to suspect that senior State officials may themselves be involved in these disappearances";

  • In an interview President Lukashenko gave on 10 June 2009 to the Russian newspaper Zavtra, he 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"; the German authorities have nevertheless denied this; moreover, Mrs. Krasovsky has denied that her husband had any business problems;

  • In July and August 2010, a documentary entitled "The Nation’s Godfather" was aired on a Russian TV channel and was also available in Belarus; the film dealt inter alia with the involvement of State authorities in the disappearance of politicians, including Mr. Gonchar; on 7 July 2010, the President of the opposition United Civil Party, Mr. Anatoly Lebedko, made an application to the Prosecutor General to investigate the evidence presented in the documentary and to initiate criminal proceedings against the persons referred to in the film as the masterminds and perpetrators of abductions and killings; although under Belarusian law, the Prosecutor General’s Office should have responded to Mr. Lebedko’s application within one month, he has to date received no information on this point,
Taking into consideration the letter from the Chairman of the Committee on National Security, dated 5 January 2012,

Noting that, apart from the fact that the investigation has been extended to 24 March 2012, the letter contains no new information, in particular no response or observation on the specific questions and considerations raised in previous resolutions, most recently in that of October 2011, and only reiterates that various lines of investigation are being pursued, that no details regarding the investigation may be disclosed before the investigation is closed, and that the House of Representatives lacks supervisory authority over the Prosecutor General’s Office, which precludes any possibility of studying the case material under investigation by that Office,

Noting that Mrs. Krasovsky and her daughter have filed an application with the Human Rights Committee established under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and are awaiting a decision as to its admissibility,

  1. Thanks the Chairman of the Standing Committee on National Security for his letter; regrets, however, that it is merely a formal reply that in no way responds to the specific questions and concerns it has constantly raised in this case;

  2. Sincerely hopes that the National Assembly of Belarus will finally take serious account of its considerations and requests for information so as to facilitate a more substantive dialogue;

  3. Believes that the National Assembly can only do so if it takes a more critical stance regarding the absence of any results in the investigation, 12 years after Mr. Gonchar and Mr. Krasovsky disappeared, and the continued secrecy surrounding it; calls on the National Assembly to do everything possible to help ensure that an effective investigation is carried out, in particular by insisting on obtaining specific information on how the different leads and concerns which have thus far emerged are being addressed;

  4. Remains convinced that the work of the United Nations Human Rights Committee in Mr. Krasovsky’s case will be crucial to helping elucidate the fate of Mr. Gonchar, and requests the IPU Committee to keep abreast of its work and decisions on this case;

  5. Requests the Secretary General to bring this resolution to the attention of the parliamentary authorities, the Prosecutor General and the source;

  6. Requests the Committee to continue examining this case and to report to it at its next session, to be held during the 127th IPU Assembly (October 2012).

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