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Bélarus20 March 2002

Alleged killers of journalist Dmitri Zavadski sentenced


18 March 2002

On 14 March 2002, the Minsk Regional Court sentenced two former members of the Interior Ministry’s special forces to life in prison for the murder of five persons and the July 2000 disappearance of journalist and cameraman Dmitri Zavadski. No further details concerning the journalist’s probable assassination were exposed during the trial and sentencing.

RSF underlines that during the trial, no new information materialised that would establish the location of the disappeared journalist’s body, determine the exact circumstances surrounding his murder, or help to identify the persons who ordered the journalist’s abduction.

RSF is surprised that the Minsk court did not make a serious effort to find answers to these unresolved questions. The organisation believes that a proper investigation must now be launched in order to identify the guilty parties. RSF also supports the various efforts by Svetlana Zavadskaya, Zavadski’s widow, and her lawyer to determine the facts of this case and ensure that those responsible for the journalist’s abduction and murder are punished accordingly.

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