Volha Zavadskaya: “It is frightful to think that Dzima’s case will go to archives…”

May 21, a party was held in Minsk to remember the abduction of the cameraman Dzmitry Zavadski.

The commemorative evening was held on the premises of BNF party, attended by mother and wife of the journalist, as well as his colleagues, politicians and human rights defenders. The event was organized by the organizational committee of the Belarusian Christian Democracy party within a larger campaign “We will not forget!” dedicated to disappearances of several public figures in Belarus.

It has been 13 years since Dzmitry Zavadski was abducted on his way to Minsk 2 airport. Since then the authorities has ignored all demands to investigate the crime, to reveal the truth and punish offenders.

By law, in 2015 the case of Dzmitry Zavadski can be discarded to archives. So the message of the evening was to write more about the disappeared Dzmitry Zavadski, Viktar Hanchar, Yury Zakharanka, Anatol Krasouski in order to urge everyone and altogether to demand justice.

“13 years is a big time span, and we all would like to see some results of the investigation; unfortunately, there are no results… A lot has been done for these years, there were a lot of complaints appeals, lots of meetings with politicians, journalists, from Belarus as well as from abroad. But there is no result, so much awaited. The case of Dzmitry Zavadski was suspended in 2006, and for 7 years now neither prosecutors nor investigators have worked properly over the case. We sent a request to the Minister of Home Affairs to inform us about what steps were being taken, but we received only a runaround.  Wasn’t the 13 years enough to report at least something?” said Sviatlana Zavadskaya, the wife of the journalist.

His mother Volha Zavadskaya recalled how Dzmitry became a journalist, how he worked in hot spots where he was headed for by the ORT channel, and how he was upset when he lost a possibility to work freely in Belarus. “For me personally and for all our family it is hard to think that Dzima’s case might go to archives. Because such cases as abduction of people, including abduction of famous people in Belarus, must not be left beyond public attention. But big politics is involved here, and it is only in our power to move the case from a standstill. How to do it? What lever to press so that the numb solidarity would turn into some sparkle which would start some changes? Yes, everything is made in the country so that people are afraid to have their say, to express their dissatisfaction. Even those who suffered, even to the extent to which we have. But everyone is tied to a workplace, to a contract, to bringing up children, to schools, to kindergartens.”

The head of the United Civil Party Anatol Liabedzka sadly stated that the topic of disappeared politicians and journalists have been almost gone from the agenda of European structures.

The journalist Iryna Khalip alleges that the events that happened after the tragic abductions have moved them to the background which she called a short-memory effect. She remarked that we must push ourselves more often and raise the issue all the time. “The authorities must know that we will not calm down until we find out all the truth about those abductions,” said Iryna Khalip.

The next event within the campaign is appointed for June 16 in the memory of the abducted politician Viktar Hanchar.