Missing Belarusian activist found dead in Kiev, Ukraine police say
Written by Hit Music Radio News on 03/08/2021
A Belarusian activist who was reported missing has been found dead in a park in Kiev, Ukrainian police have said.
Vitaly Shishov led Kiev-based non-profit organisation Belarusian House (BDU) that helps Belarusians fleeing persecution.
He was reported missing by his partner on Monday after not returning home from a run.
Police have launched a criminal case for suspected murder but said in a statement they will be investigating all possibilities, including murder disguised as suicide.
Many Belarusians have fled the country after dictator Alexander Lukashenko’s government launched a violent crackdown, with many leaving for Ukraine, Poland and Lithuania in particular to escape persecution.
Belarusian authorities view anti-government protesters as criminals or violent revolutionaries backed by the West and say the actions of law enforcement agencies are adequate and necessary.
Belarusian journalist Taduesz Gizcan said in a tweet that police traced Mr Shishov’s phone during the search for him “to no avail” and that his friends said he has been followed recently.
BDU helps Belarusians find accommodation, jobs and legal advice, its website says.
In a separate statement, the organisation said it was not able to contact Mr Shishov.
It said he had left his home at 9am and was supposed to have returned an hour later.
Belarusian Olympic sprinter Krystina Tsimanouskaya has received a humanitarian visa by Poland after refusing to board a Minsk-bound flight from Tokyo.
© Sky News 2020