Updated at 14:13,24-01-2022

Kurapaty defenders lose court battle

Artsiom Martynovich, Euroradio

A district court in Minsk rules to reject a collective complaint by the defenders of the Kurapaty memorial against Office of Prosecutor General.

On June 27, the court heard the collective complaint filed by civic activists against the Office of Prosecutor General over the protection of historical heritage at the site of mass executions in Kurapaty.

In February 2014, a group of activists filed a letter with the Office of Prosecutor General, insisting that any development works on the territory of the protected area in Kurapaty as it could lead to the destruction of historical and cultural heritage. Among other things, the activists asked the Office of Prosecutor General to inspect the implementation of the December 27, 2012 decision of the meeting with participation of representatives of the Office of Prosecutor General about the removal of four houses that belong to a restaurant and entertainment center mounted in the protected area.

The Office of Prosecutor General officially replied that the letter had been forwarded to the Ministry of Culture. The Kurapaty defenders perceived it was arunaround and filed a complaint against the decision of the Office of Prosecutor General with a court.

However, on June 27 the court took the side of the Office of Prosecutor General.

In the view of Harry Pahanyaylа from Belarusian Helsinki Committee, the Office of Prosecutor General was to execute its own order within one month.

Harry Pahanyayla: The Office of Prosecutor General has all tools in place for that. An order from the Office of Prosecutor General is act of reaction which recorded serious violations. In other words, they try to say: violations are recorded; calm down as it is not your business. This is the stance of the state. The situation is aggravated by the fact commercial entities are trying to get lucrative plots of land within the borders of the city.

The plaintiffs are set to appeal the ruling in a higher court.