2010 06/09
Алег Бябенін

Аleh Biabienin

Aleh Biabenin – public activist, journalist, creator and chief of the civil campaign charter97.org, adherent and fighter for Belarus’s democratic and European choice, became victim in undeclared war for European dignity.

The journalist was found hanged at 5.30 p.m. on 3 September in his summer cottage not far from Minsk in Dzerzhynsk district.
The investigators immediately suggested the first theory of the journalist’s death cause – a suicide.

One can’t say for sure what had caused this horrible death of one of the most active adherent of Belarus’s democratic choice, but one can surely state that the society lost its most active fighter for free from dictatorship, independent Belarus on the eve of the most significant period of the country.

In this case no one of Aleh’s friends, colleagues and close associates believe in this theory of suicide on the eve of such long-awaited fight “For Belarus!”… – unexpected death of Aleh Biabenin got clear tragic and malicious character. They see it as an explosion in rows of Belarusian democratic opposition which can oppose to this bloody deathly weapon only its own decisiveness, consolidation and uncompromising longing for free and democratic Belarus.

And in spite of this death can be a result of driving the journalist to suicide or cynically planned contract murder which created atmosphere of fright in the rows of Belarusian opposition prior fight for “political Olympus” no one can bring Aleh Biabenin – independent journalist and opposition fighter for European Belarus back to life.

Recorded data, official investigation versions, opinions

Aliaksandr Danilchanka, the head of Information and public relations department of Minsk regional executive committee reported to BelaPAN: “Biabenin was hanging on a self-made noose fixed in the doorway which led to the first floor. Stool was lying aside.”
According to his words “two empty bottles of alcohol beverage “Belarusky balsam” were found during incident site examination. No signs of fight were found on the body”, – said Danilchanka.

The journalist didn’t leave any note, he had many plans. Moreover he had a wife and two sons.

Colleagues and co-workers of Biabenin claim that he had no grounds for committing suicide.

Investigation statements are publicly negated by the appeal of one of the witnesses presented at the incident place on the day of Aleh Biabienin’s death who could see all actions of investigators at the place of tragedy by their own eyes.

According to the words of Zmitser Bandarenka, the coordinator of civil campaign “European Belarus” who worked in one office with Aleh Biabenin for a long time and was his good friend, the claims in which they state that no unusual marks which could be considered results of external actions were found on the body can’t be considered truthful.

In his interview to “Radio Svaboda” Bandarenka said that he had seen a cut on the finger and raw sore on knuckles of the left fist and also scratches on the chest of the deceased. There were bruising on the back in the left kidney area and on the neck. Zmitser Bandarenka recalled that he had often visited sauna with Biabenin and hadn’t noticed marks like that ones.

All mentioned circumstances were fixed in the inspection protocol and several photos were made according to investigators. All these facts will be also examined, – said Zmitser Bandarenka.

Thrilled international society sympathizes and calls for objective investigation

Ежы Бузэк

Jezy Buzek

In connection with Aleh Biabenin’s death the president of European Parliament Jerzy Buzek voiced concern and called Belarusian authorities to conduct an objective investigation of journalist’s death causes.

Expressing deep condolence to Biabenin’s family and associates, the reporter of Parliament Assembly of European Council on Belarus Sinikka Hurskainen appealed to Belarusian authorities to conduct full transparent investigation of death causes.



“The circumstances of Aleh Biabenin’s death bring up questions and I hope that Belarusian authorities will conduct full transparent investigation of this tragic event”, – said Hurskainen.

Hurskainen noted that PACE will keep watch over current investigation and all events happening prior to presidential elections. “It is especially concerns freedom of mass media and freedom of political rights of citizens”, – stressed the reporter of Parliament Assembly of European Council on Belarus.



Human right activists of Norwegian Helsinki Committee are also deeply thrilled and concerned about death of Aleh Biabenin, the founder of charter97.org. They also find circumstances aroud death of the journalist strange.

“We appeal to all European countries including Norway to demand from Belarusian authorities thorough and transparent investigation of Aleh Biabenin’s death and to leave no stione unturned to make sure that they came to a truth”, – is written in the appeal of Norwegian Helsinki Committee.

Індэкс Цэнзуры

Іndex Cenzury

British human right organization “Index on Censorship” is also deeply concerned about death of one of the leading Belarusian journalists.

Mike Harris, the Public Affairs Manager of “Index on Censorship” who is in Belarus now said:

“People in Minsk are very nervous, especially those close to Aleh. No suicide note was found, and Aleh just hours before his death had made phone calls to arrange a trip to the cinema with close friends. In recent months he had become increasingly concerned over the safety of fellow human rights activists and feared a repeat of the period 97-99 where he was nearly killed, and scores of dissidents disappeared in suspicious circumstances”.

“Presidential elections are going to take place not later than next year’s February. Lukashenka is now threatening human right organizations and youth activists, arrests and façade court sessions are taking place. This suicide shocked all public society of Belarus”, – added brithish human right activist.

In recent years they have been putting pressure upon Charter’97 and other opposition groups.

On March 16 in connection with criminal case about calumny towards KGB general, computers were confiscated in the office of charter97.org, claims “Index on Censorship”.

On September 6 last respects were paid to the head of web-site “Charter-97” Aleh Biabenin.

Public memorial service took place at 2-3 p.m. in ceremonial cervices hall in Alsheusky str. 12.
Aleh Biabenin was buried at Eastern (Moscow) cemetery in Minsk.

Ales Volny,
Belarusian Legal Portal,

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