Information on whether people who attack or murder Jews in Minsk or elsewhere in Belarus are prosecuted [BYS13430]

There is no information currently available to the DIRB on the prosecution of individuals in Belarus for attacking or murdering Jews. However, in a telephone interview on 8 April 1993, a source at the National Conference on Soviet Jewry provided the following general commentary on prosecutions in the former Soviet republics.

The rule of law is not well-established in the former Soviet republics, and as a result incidents are often not investigated in the same way as they would be in the United States. The authorities may have priorities other than the investigation of complaints and often investigations are allowed to lapse, or in some cases authorities may be reluctant to open an investigation. As well, local police are susceptible to bribes and corruption. As a result of these factors, the active pursuit of justice has been considerably hampered. It is important to note, however, that the failure to adequately pursue investigations is not a state policy; rather, it is due to circumstance, in effect a result of seventy years of Communist rule. The former Soviet republics have not yet adapted to democratic procedures and are not familiar with Western investigative methods.

For your further information, please note that there is a brief report available on the dismissal of criminal charges against the Slavic Gazette for publishing anti-Semitic material (Monitor 31 July 1992). Additional information on anti-Semitism in the Belorussian press, attacks on Jews or general information on Jews in Belarus is available upon further request.


Director of Community Services, National Conference on Soviet Jewry, Washington. 8 April 1993. Telephone Interview.

Monitor [Washington]. 31 July 1992. Vol. 3, No. 30. "Charges Against Slavianskie Vedomosti Dropped."