Zianon Pazniak


Zianon Pazniak

Dr. Zianon Paźniak (Belarusian: "Зянон Пазьняк", * April 24, 1944) is a famous Belarusian nationalist politician and public activist, one of the founders of the Belarusian Popular Front and leader of the Christian Conservative Party of the BPF.

Biography

Zianon Pazniak was born in Subotniki, Hrodna Province.

In 1967, he graduated from the Belarusian Academy of Arts (at that time — the Belarusian State Institute of Theatre and Arts). Upon completion of his university studies, Pazniak worked as an arts researcher. After a wave of Soviet political-administrative repressions in 1974 resulting in the loss of his work at the Arts Institute, Pazniak worked as an archaeologist at the Archaeological Division of the History Institute of the Belarusian Science Academy. His specialisation was the Late Middle Ages in Belarus. He was heavily involved in efforts to preserve the remaining section of the historic centre of Minsk, which was considerably damaged by the redevelopment efforts undertaken by the Soviet administration after the end of the Second World War. In 1981 Pazniak successfully defended a doctoral dissertation on the history of the theatre.

In 1988 Zianon Pazniak made public his researches of alleged NKVD mass executions in the forest of Kurapaty near Minsk. At that time he became a leader of the Belarusian national revival movement. In 1988, along with Vasil Bykau, he was one of the founders of the Belarusian Popular Front and the Belarusian Martyrologue.

From May, З 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 that was involved in conducting public investigations of the Chernobyl accident (1989 – 1990), proclaiming the Declaration of independence of Belarus (1991), restorating Belarusian national symbols - the white-red-white banner and the Pahonia, and returning Belarusian military forces from conflicts in foreign regions of the territory comprising the former USSR.In 1992, the BPF fraction under Pazniak created an independence-oriented "Concept of the economic development of the democratic independent Belarus".

In 1996, Zianon Pazniak chose to leave Belarus, citing a potential arrest (or even liquidation) by the forces of the Belarusian president Alexander Lukashenko. He was granted political asylum in the United States.

Following emigration, Zianon Pazniak is still very active in leading the CCP-BPF (the Party of BPF), and continues to be an eminent public activist. Pazniak is still considered one of the most charismatic opposition leaders in Belarus. 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.

Pazniak and his followers refuse to join in the oppositional coalition led by Alaksandar Milinkievič.

External links

* [http://www.bielarus.net Bielarus.net: Bielaruskaja Salidarnasc]
* [http://www.zianonpazniak.de ZianonPazniak.de]
* [http://www.pazniak.com Pazniak.com]
* [http://www.martyraloh.org Martyrologue of Belarus]
* [http://www.pbpf.org Christian Conservative Party of the BPF]


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