Calls for investigation into 'suspicious' Belarusian activist death

President of the European Parliament Jerzy Buzek has called for an urgent and transparent investigation into the death of Belarusian opposition activist Aleh Byabenin.

Byabenin, founder of the Charter 77 web site, was found hanged in a summer house close to the Belarusian capital of Minsk on September 3.

"I am deeply moved by this sad news. Through his actions Aleh wanted to lead his country to the democratization of Belarus," Jerzy Buzek said in a statement released at the weekend.

Belarusian prosecutors declared after the autopsy the day after his body was found that Byabenin's death was "probably suicide".

But Belarusian opposition activists are demanding an independent investigation into the death, which they claim is suspicious as the ex-Soviet nation prepares for upcoming presidential elections.

"In the context of the presidential election campaign, we have grounds to believe that this may be not a suicide," said opposition leader Jaroslav Romanchuk.


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