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Belarus: PACE rapporteur is outraged that Dmitry Pavlichenko is back on the street

André Gattolin

André Gattolin (France, ALDE), the Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly’s (PACE) rapporteur on “Ending enforced disappearances on the territory of the Council of Europe” has today expressed outrage that Dmitry Pavlichenko is still out in the streets of Minsk threatening demonstrators instead of facing justice for his role in the enforced disappearance of Yuri Zakharenko, a former interior minister, Victor Gonchar, a former vice-president of the parliament, Anatoly Krasovski, a businessman who disappeared alongside Mr Gonchar, and Dmitri Zavadski, a Russian TV cameraman.

“Back in 2004, PACE rapporteur Christos Pourgourides investigated these disappearances and concluded that Mr Pavlichenko was a key suspect, alongside Prosecutor General Victor Sheyman and Interior Minister Yuri Sivakov. He established that the disappeared persons were likely shot dead with the official death penalty execution pistol by an Omon death squad led by Dmitry Pavlichenko, as ‘traitors’ who had been given a secret death sentence. The Assembly at that time called for all suspects to be brought to justice. This never happened. Now Mr Pavlichenko is back on the street, calling protesters ‘traitors’. Everyone in Belarus knows what this means. For the sake of justice and reconciliation, Mr Pavlichenko must be stopped. He must finally be brought before a court of law,” Mr Gattolin said.