Belarusians fleeing repression in their country to neighboring Ukraine must be safe. President Volodymyr Zelensky ordered the services to guarantee their protection. The decision was made after the body of 26-year-old Vital Szyszou, head of the Belarusian House in Ukraine, was found in a Kiev park.
Volodymyr Zelensky instructed the Security Service and the Ministry of the Interior to guarantee protection to Belarusian citizens who came to Ukraine and who may be in danger in connection with their activities, the office of the head of state announced on Wednesday.
“Every Belarusian who may become a target of a crime due to his public political position is to receive special and credible protection. The Security Service and the Ministry of the Interior should develop a precise algorithm for assessing possible risks and a system of responding to these risks to remove all threats to people” – said Volodymyr Zelensky in a press release.
As added in the document, a list of Belarusian citizens for whom appropriate risk assessment and protection measures have already started has been compiled.
The decision was made in connection with the fact that law enforcement agencies received information on possible threats to a number of Belarusian activists and in connection with the tragic death of Belarusian activist Vital Szyszou – indicated.
Zelensky expects a comprehensive examination of all the circumstances of this event and a quick and complete verification of the information.
My relatives do not believe in suicide
The body of the 26-year-old head of the Belarusian House in Ukraine found in one of Kiev parks Tuesday morning. Ukrainian police said that the investigators are investigating suicide and homicide simulating suicide as the two main potential causes of death of the Belarusian. There were scratches on his hanged body, which, according to experts, showed that he had fallen.
The head of the Ukrainian police, Ihor Klymenko, said that there is no information about the activist being followed before his death. Szyszou did not turn to the police on this matter, ‘he added. Szyszoua’s relatives declare that they do not believe that he took his own life.
According to the Belarusian House in Ukraine, Shishou was tracked and the police were informed about it. “We have also been warned many times by both local sources and our people in Belarus about various provocations, including kidnappings and liquidation” – emphasized the organization helping Belarusians fleeing their homeland from persecution.
Main photo source: STEPAN FRANKO / PAP / EPA