Belarus journalist 'suicide' mystery

There is a continuing mystery surrounding the death of Belarus journalist - and outspoken government critic - Oleg Bebenin.

He was found hanged in his country house near Minsk six days ago, and police were quick to say it was a case of suicide.

But his relatives, colleagues and opposition political leaders are unconvinced that he took his own life.

"Neither his recent behaviour nor his behaviour on the day of his death gave any indication that such a tragedy might occur by his own hand," said opposition leader Andrei Sannikov.

And Natallya Radzina, the editor of the website that Bebenin founded, Charter 97, said: "We doubt that it was a suicide for many reasons. He was a happy and stable person... He loved his work. No suicide note was found."

The Belarusian Association of Journalists (BAJ) has written to the country's interior minister and attorney general calling for an investigation into Bebenin's death. Several other human rights groups have also called for an inquiry.


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