Brussels 03.08.2021 Belarusian anti-government activist was found dead in a park near in the Ukrainian capital, Kyiv, on Tuesday, August 3, and according to the police they had begun an investigation into whether it was a suicide or a murder.
The activist, Vitaly Shishov, went missing a day before after going out for a morning jog, said his colleagues, who accused the Belarusian authorities of assassinating him. On Tuesday, the Kyiv police said that he had been found hanged in the park and that their investigation included the possibility that the death was a “murder masked as a suicide.”
“The full picture of events will be confirmed after the questioning of witnesses, the analysis of video recordings” and other investigative operation, the police said.
Aleksandr G. Lukashenko, Belarus’s authoritarian leader since 1994, has jailed thousands after large-scale protests over his rule last year. Now, events in recent weeks have indicated that he is also escalating his campaign against the growing number of Belarus activists, living in exile abroad.
Shishov’s acquaintances told the Viasna human rights center that he had previously noticed that he was being watched while jogging. Also, he and his girlfriend were approached by suspicious people who tried to start a conversation.
“Belarusian House in Ukraine” is a non-profit public organization that provides assistance to Belarusian citizens who fled to Ukraine.