Belarus: Return to NKVD practices?


Human rights activists are convinced that the planned widening of the powers of the KGB, MIA [Ministry of Internal Affairs] and Department of Financial Investigations will lead to repression of members of the opposition.

The National Security Commission of the “House of Representatives” held a meeting on 8 December to discuss amendments to some laws supposed to step up the fight against crime. This was aimed at preparing the draft law for its second reading. The document allows searches of people’s homes and similar procedure without the sanction of the Prosecutor.

If the proposed changes are passed, then in order to keep somebody in custody, carry out a search, interception and recording of conversations, the signature will do of one of three people: the Minister of Internal Affairs, the Head of the KGB or the Director of the Department of Financial Investigations.

 Oleg Volchek, Head of the Human Rights Centre “Legal Aid to the Population of Ukraine and Belarus” calls this a return to the Soviet past. He points out that in the 1930s NKVD investigators were the main figures,  carrying out detentions and arrests, not the Prosecutor.  He is deeply sceptical of the statement made by the Director of the National Centre for Legislative Initiatives, Vadim Ilatov to deputies where he claimed that investigations without the knowledge of the Prosecutor would only be carried out in “exceptional circumstances.” Vochek says that 90% of the population could be made to fall under that article.

            From reports at

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