Missing Belarus activist found dead in Ukrain park
Published: 11:06 PM, 3 August 2021
Vitaly Shishov, a Belarus activist, found dead at a park in Ukraine; Photo: Collected
A Belarus activist named Vitaly Shishov, the head of a group helping people who fled the country, has been found dead near his home in Ukraine.
The body of Vitaly Shishov, who also went missing on Monday from Kyiv, the capital of Ukraine, was found hanging in a park in Kyiv on Tuesday, reports BBC.
Police said they were investigating whether he had been killed and his death “made to look like suicide”.
Vitaly Shishov led the Belarusian House in Ukraine (BHU), a group helping people who left Belarus, where opposition to the government is stifled.
He was one of many Belarusians who left the country as the security forces violently suppressed protests following the disputed re-election of President Alexander Lukashenko in August 2020.
Ukraine, Poland and Lithuania – neighbors of Belarus – are the main destinations for those fleeing persecution.
The United Nations said Shishov’s death adds another level to “our worries about what is happening in Belarus”, and called for an investigation.
Vitaly Shishov’s death is the latest incident to prompt international scrutiny of President Lukashenko’s authoritarian government.
Meanwhile, at the Olympics, a Belarusian Olympic sprinter Krystina Timanovskaya, 24, who feared for her safety has been granted a humanitarian visa by Poland after refusing her team’s order to fly back to Belarus early.
She said she had been forcibly taken to the airport for criticizing team coaches, and voiced fears for her safety.
Earlier this year, there was an international outcry over the detention of opposition Belarusian journalist Roman Protasevich and his girlfriend, after the Ryanair plane they were traveling on was forced to divert and land in Belarus. – BBC.