Exiled Belarus activist found hanged in Kyiv park

A Belarusian activist was found hanged in a park near his home in Kyiv early on Tuesday (August 3).

Ukrainian police have launched a murder investigation.

Vitaly Shishov led a Kyiv-based organization that helps Belarusians fleeing persecution.

He was reported missing by his partner on Monday (August 2) when he didn't come home from a run.

Ukraine, Poland and Lithuania have become havens for Belarusians during a crackdown by President Alexander Lukashenko following a disputed election last year.

Shishov led the Belarusian House in Ukraine group, which says it helps Belarusians find accommodation, jobs and legal advice.

His colleagues said in a statement he had felt under constant surveillance since he left Belarus last year after taking part in anti-government protests.

Adding that he was warned about possible threats, including being kidnapped or killed.

Shishov had treated these risks with stoicism and humor, the Belarusian House said.

The Belarusian authorities have characterized anti-government protesters as criminals or violent revolutionaries backed by the West, and described the actions of law enforcement agencies as appropriate and necessary.

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