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Relatives Of Missing Belarusians Protest Lukashenka Visit To Lithuania

Former Deputy Speaker of Parliament Viktar Hanchar is among the missing people.
MINSK -- Relatives of three prominent missing people in Belarus have expressed their concerns regarding a planned visit by Belarus President Alyaksandr Lukashenka to Lithuania later this month, RFE/RL's Belarus Service reports.

Zinaida Hanchar, Volha Zavadzskaya, and Ulyana Zaharanka handed their letter to the Lithuanian Embassy in Minsk on September 3.

In the letter addressed to Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaitė, they wrote that September 16, when President Lukashenka is expected to attend the Lithuanian-Belarus business forum in Vilnius, will be the 10th anniversary of the abduction of politician Viktar Hanchar and businessman Anatol Krasousky in Belarus. There whereabouts are still unknown.

The authors wrote that Lukashenka's visit would mean Lithuania's recognition of the current regime in Belarus, and they urged Grybauskaitė to do everything possible to cancel the visit.

Several individuals disappeared in Belarus in 1999 and 2000, including former Deputy Speaker of Parliament Viktar Hanchar, businessman Anatol Krasousky, Former Interior Minister Yury Zaharanka, and journalist Dzmitry Zavadzsky.

All of them are presumed dead. Their relatives believe that the Belarusian secret services are behind the abductions and possible killings.