Belarusian opposition leader Statkevich mysteriously disappeared

Mikola Statkevich, one of the leaders of the Belarusian National Congress or BNK, has disappeared and has not contacted anyone since March 23, his wife, Marina Adamovich told Deutsche Welle.

Statkevich was supposed to be in Minsk near the Academy of Sciences for Freedom Day on Saturday, March 25. As the BNK organizer for the event, he had planned for a procession to start along the main avenue of the Belarusian capital but he never showed up.

"The last time I saw Mikola was on Thursday morning, March 23. After that, I received a message that said he was all right. Since then, his phone has not responded and no one who can tell me where my husband is," Adamovich said.

She stressed that Statkevich's main goal was not to get arrested before the 25th of March. "We discussed a system of security signals and he left so that he would not be arrested before that time." Adamovich is convinced that if Mikola Statkevich was not arrested, he would "do everything possible to come to Minsk for a rally, to participate in an event which he himself invited other people to attend."

Adamovich said that on Monday, March 27, she and her lawyer intend to file an official request to the KGB of Belarus to investigate the whereabouts of Mikola Statkevich. According to her, she had already applied for information from the KGB pre-trial detention center, from the Minsk detention center of the Ministry of Internal Affairs in Volodarka and from the temporary detention center on Akrescina Street but she was told that Statkevich was not in any of those places.

"The absurd statements that Mikola fled to Paris or somewhere else, as it was said in 1999 about the disappeared Belarusian oppositionists, the ex-head of the Central Election Commission Viktor Gonchar and General of the Interior Ministry Zakharenko can be regarded as direct involvement of the authorities in the disappearance of my husband," Adamovich added.

Mikola Statkevich’s name does not appear on the list of people detained by the special services on charges of preparing "mass riots" in accordance with Part 3 of Article 293 of the Criminal Code, which is maintained by the Belarusian human rights center.

  Belarus, Mikola Statkevich, protest