The journalist was found hanged on 3 September 2010 in a summer house near Minsk.
Aleh Biabienin was born in 1974 in Kostroma (Russian Federation). He graduated from the faculty of journalist of the Belarusian State University. In 1990-ies he worked as a deputy chief editor of an independent Belarusian newspaper ‘Name’. Starting from 1998 he was the founder and the head of the charter97.org web-site. Aleh Biabienin was survived by a wife and two sons.
Law enforcement agencies hurried into reporting that had been a suicide. However, Aleh Biabienin’s death raises many questions. Forensic doctors give confusing reports even on the date. Aleh Biabienin did not leave any note. Friends and colleagues of the journalist, who visited the site of the incident, claim that traces of torture could be found on his body. The prosecutor’s office stopped the inspection on the fact of Aleh Biabienin’s death in a few months after it had been started, despite the demands of international organizations and human rights activists to hold a proper investigation.
Representative of pro-democracy community claimed it was a “political murder”. Aleh Biabienin’s death took place on the eve of the start of the 2010 presidential campaign, which ended in a brutal crackdown on the manifestation in Minsk. The journalist was a member of the team of one of Lukashenka’s main competitors – the leader of the European Belarus civic campaign Andrei Sannikov. Everyone remembers how ended the confrontation with the authorities for certain opponents of the regime before the 2001 presidential elections. Jury Zakharanka, Viktar Hanchar, Anatol Krasouski, Dzmitry Zavadski were abducted and murdered, while the investigation of their deaths has not yet been properly carried out.
After the authorities change, we will definitely know the truth about how our colleague died. Criminal charges will be surely brought on the case of Aleh Biabienin’s tragic death and it will be investigated by the best Belarusian criminal criminalists.