Updated at 17:19,07-01-2021

Human Rights activists oppose trip of former Internal Minister head Navumau to Switzerland


Well-known human rights activists from Sweden and Belarus have addressed leadership of the Swedish Ice Hockey Federation with an appeal not to allow former Internal Minister Uladzimir Navumau to Switzerland.

As informed by Radio Svaboda, the appeal has been made by the president of the initiative "Ostgruppen for demokrati och manskliga rattigheter" Martin Uggla and the head of the human rights centre "Viasna" Ales Byalatski.

"We address the Swedish federation in order to influence its Swiss colleagues and not to invite the head of the Belarusian hockey federation Uladzimir Navumau (Naumov) to the world championship. We also solicit Swiss government not to allow Navumau to enter Switzerland," the human rights watchdogs write in their letter. The address has been already published by some Swedish newspapers.

As is known, Belarus is one of the candidates for holding world hockey championship in 2014. The final decision of this issue is to be adopted at the International Hockey Federation congress on May 7-9 during the world championship in Switzerland. On May 7 contenders are to hold their final presentations, and on May 8 voting is to take place.

The events in Bern are to be visited by Uladzimir Navumau as the head of the Hockey federation of Belarus.

As noted by Martin Uggla and Ales Byalatski, Navumnau is a suspect in implication in serious human rights violations. He is on the list of the Belarusian officials for whom entry to the European Union and the US is banned.

Human rights activists remind that the former minister is linked to abductions of 4 Belarusian oppositionists, including the former Interior Minister head Yury Zakharanka. He went missing on May 7, 1999.

Now, as underlined by the Swedish and Belarusian human rights activists, Navumau hopes to visit Switzerland. Though Switzerland is not a EU member, it has supported the EU sanctions against some Belarusian politicians.