Zianon Pazniak

Zianon Pazniak

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Zianon Pazniak is a Belarus
Belarus
Belarus , officially the Republic of Belarus, is a landlocked country in Eastern Europe, bordered clockwise by Russia to the northeast, Ukraine to the south, Poland to the west, and Lithuania and Latvia to the northwest. Its capital is Minsk; other major cities include Brest, Grodno , Gomel ,...

ian nationalist politician, one of the founders of the Belarusian Popular Front and leader of the Christian Conservative Party of the BPF. He has lived in emigration since 1996.

Biography


Zianon Pazniak was born in the village of Subotniki in Grodno region.

He graduated from the Belarusian State Institute of Theatre and Arts in 1967 and completed his postgraduate studies at the Institute of Ethnography, Art and Folklore in 1972. In 1981 Pazniak defended his doctoral dissertation on the history of the Belarusian theatre in Leningrad
Leningrad
Leningrad is the former name of Saint Petersburg, Russia.Leningrad may also refer to:- Places :* Leningrad Oblast, a federal subject of Russia, around Saint Petersburg* Leningrad, Tajikistan, capital of Muminobod district in Khatlon Province...

. He worked as a manager of village club, photographer, scientific worker at the Institute of History.

In 1988 Zianon Pazniak made public his researches of alleged NKVD
NKVD
The People's Commissariat for Internal Affairs was the public and secret police organization of the Soviet Union that directly executed the rule of power of the Soviets, including political repression, during the era of Joseph Stalin....

 mass executions in the forest of Kurapaty
Kurapaty
Kurapaty is a wooded area on the outskirts of Minsk, Belarus, in which a vast number of people were executed between 1937 and 1941 by the Soviet secret police, the NKVD.The exact count of victims is uncertain, NKVD archives are classified in Belarus...

 near Minsk
Minsk
- Ecological situation :The ecological situation is monitored by Republican Center of Radioactive and Environmental Control .During 2003–2008 the overall weight of contaminants increased from 186,000 to 247,400 tons. The change of gas as industrial fuel to mazut for financial reasons has worsened...

. At that time he became a leader of the Belarusian nationalistic movement. In 1988 he was one of the founders of the Belarusian Popular Front and the Belarusian Martyrologue.

From May 1990 till January 1996 Pazniak was a deputy of the Belarusian parliament. As parliamentary deputy, he was the leader of the fraction of the BPF. In 1996 Zianon Pazniak chose to leave Belarus after his party had suffered a devastating defeat in parliamentary elections. He was granted political asylum in the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

.

On June 19, 1997 Belarus's prosecutor's office opened a criminal case against Pazniak accusing him of incitement to ethnic hatred.

Following emigration, Zianon Pazniak is still active in leading the CCP-BPF (the Party of BPF). His endeavour to participate in the presidential elections of 2006 was set back when he refused to forward the requisite number of signatures gathered for his candidacy.

He is a founding signatory of the Prague Declaration on European Conscience and Communism
Prague Declaration on European Conscience and Communism
The Prague Declaration on European Conscience and Communism , which was signed on 3 June 2008, was a declaration signed by prominent European politicians, former political prisoners and historians, including past signatories of Charter 77 such as Václav Havel, which called for condemnation of and...

.

Pazniak and his followers refuse to join in the oppositional coalition led by Alexander Milinkevich.

External links