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Historical archive

Important that the circumstances surrounding Byabenin's death are clarified

Historical archive

Published under: Stoltenberg's 2nd Government

Publisher Ministry of Foreign Affairs

“We extend our condolences to Aleh Byabenin’s loved ones at this difficult time. I would also like to stress that it is important that the circumstances surrounding his death are clarified quickly and thoroughly,” Foreign Minister Jonas Gahr Støre commented.

“It is with sorrow and concern that I note that a key figure in one of the opposition groups in Belarus has been found dead,” Foreign Minister Jonas Gahr Støre commented. “We extend our condolences to Aleh Byabenin’s loved ones at this difficult time. I would also like to stress that it is important that the circumstances surrounding his death are clarified quickly and thoroughly.” 

The 36-year-old journalist Aleh Byabenin was the founder of the website Charter97.org. He was a close associate of former Deputy Foreign Minister Andrej Sannikaw, one of the opposition candidates in the presidential election that is expected to be held in early 2011. Critical questions have been raised in various quarters regarding the speed with which the Belarusian authorities concluded that Mr Byabenin’s death was suicide. 

“Democracy does not come about by itself. The personal commitment of socially engaged individuals is crucial. People must be able to demonstrate commitment of this kind without any risk to their lives or health. It is therefore vital that there is a quick and thorough investigation of the circumstances surrounding Aleh Byabenin’s tragic death,” Mr Støre said.

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