Saturday, October 22, 2005

The Stench of Injustice and Violence Continues in Belarus

As one independent journalist is memorialized on the anniversary of her murder, another is killed. Here's the brief update from Radio Free Europe...

Colleagues and relatives on 20 October visited the grave of journalist Veranika Charkasava, who was stabbed to death in her Minsk apartment one year ago, Belapan reported.
Reporters Without Borders wrote in a press release the same day that Charkasava covered a wide range of subjects, noting that she undertook investigative work on sects and organized crime and wrote a series of articles headlined "The KGB Is Still Watching You." Shortly before her murder, Charkasava had been investigating possible Belarusian government arms sales to Saddam Hussein's regime in Iraq. Charkasava's case remains unsolved.

Meanwhile, on 18 October Vasil Hrodnikau, a freelancer for the opposition daily "Narodnaya volya," was found dead in his apartment outside Minsk, reportedly after being hit on the head with a blunt object. An investigator from the Minsk District Prosecutor's Office told RFE/RL's Belarus Service on 20 October that evidence and expert examinations so far do not warrant a criminal probe into Hrodnikau's death.