Statement due to the lack of information about Yulia Chernyavskaya

Statement by the human rights community on  the lack of information on the whereabouts and procedural status of Yulia Chernyavskaya

To the Attorney General of the Republic of Belarus

State Counselor of Justice of the 2nd class

To the Shved Andrey Ivanovich

Minister of Internal Affairs of the Republic of Belarus

Militia Lieutenant General

Kubrakov Ivan Vladimirovich

Chairman of the State Security Committee of the Republic of Belarus

Lieutenant General 

Tertel Ivan Stanislavovich


Due to the lack of information on the whereabouts and procedural status of Yuliya Charniauskaya

On May 18, 2021,  public messages by her daughter Jaŭhienija Čarniaŭskaja, as well as from the media, reported that a citizen of the Republic of Belarus, Yuliya Charniauskaya, had stopped answering the phone calls of her daughter, mother, relatives, and the media at around 9.30 a.m after previously being taken to the 1st city clinical hospital in Minsk in the presence of law enforcement, presumably with a hypertensive crisis Her whereabouts are currently unknown. 

Yuliya Charniauskaya is a member of the Belarusian PEN Center and the widow of Juryj Zissier, a Belarusian businessman, and founder and co-owner of the Belarusian Internet project TUT.BY, which was the subject of police raids the same morning of 18 May. 

Public reports revealed  that the Department of Financial Investigations had opened a criminal case against TUT.BY, within the framework of which investigative actions were carried out in their central and regional offices, as well as at the places of residence of managers and employees. Such actions included searches, seizure of documents and equipment, arrests.

Subsequent to Yuliya Charniauskaya’s admission to the hospital with law enforcement officers, family members reported that the hospital’s emergency room informed them that Yuliya Charniauskaya was no longer in the 1st city clinical hospital and that she had been “released home”. However, contrary to this claim, Chernyavskaya has been unreachable on her personal phone and is not at her place of residence at the time of writing. 

Representatives of law enforcement agencies have yet to release any official information about the whereabouts and procedural status ofYuliya Charniauskaya. Chernyavskaya’s lawyer, who is in constant contact with close relatives, has been unable to obtain information about the presence or absence of Yuliya Charniauskaya in institutions (including medical ones) of the Ministry of Internal Affairs or the KGB..

In addition to her connection to TUT.BY and her membership of the Belarusian PEN Center, Yuliya Charniauskaya is also a scientist, prose writer, playwright, Cultural Studies PhD candidate, professor of the Belarusian State University of Culture and Arts with a specialty in cultural anthropology, and the author of several books, plays, novels, and stories.

In the context of active investigative actions against TUT.BY employees, and in view of the extreme concern of close relatives and the high public attention,


– Immediately confirm to close relatives (daughter and mother) Yulia Vissarionovna Chernyavskaya’s presence and precise whereabouts  in institutions (including medical) of the Ministry of Internal Affairs or the KGB, her state of health, and her procedural status.

– Ensure Yulia Chernyavskaya has immediate access to legal assistance and medical care.

– To avoid speculation –  provide an update to the media and the public with an official press release.