Updated at 20:54,07-12-2016

European Parliament President Calls for Full Investigation into Death of Journalist Byabenin

European Parliament President Jerzy Buzek has called on the Belarusian authorities to conduct a "full and transparent" investigation into the death of journalist Aleh Byabenin, who was found hanged in his summer house near Minsk on Friday evening.

The 36-year-old Byabenin was one of the prominent figures of an opposition group called Khartyya-97 (Charter97) and the founder and director of the news website charter97.org.

Police have said that the journalist committed suicide, but his associates insist that he had no reason to kill himself.

"I am deeply moved by this sad event in Belarus," the European Parliament president says in his statement issued on Sunday, noting that Mr. Byabenin "was working to create a more democratic Belarus through his work with Charter97."

"I call on the Belarusian authorities to carry out a full and transparent investigation into the death of Aleh Byabenin, which will clarify all the circumstances around his tragic death," Mr. Buzek says. "Our thoughts are with Mr. Byabenin's friends and family."