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Zianon Pazniak (Belarusian: Зянон Станiслававiч Пазьняк, born April 24, 1944) is a Belarusian 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.
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. He worked as a manager of village club, photographer, worker of stage, graphic designer, 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 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 nationalistic movement. In 1988, along with Vasil Bykau, he was one of the founders of the Belarusian Popular Front and the Belarusian Martyrologue.
From May 1990 until 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.
He got married in 1995.
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.
Pazniak and his followers refuse to join in the oppositional coalition led by Alexander Milinkevich in 2006.
- Крымінальная справа супраць Пазьняка не закрытая
- "Prague Declaration – Declaration Text". June 3, 2008. Retrieved January 28, 2010.
- Medvedev R. Александр Лукашенко. Контуры белорусской модели. – Москва, 2010
- Волков В. Вместе или порознь?, Родина
- Семенов Ю. И. Россия: что с ней было, что с ней происходит и что её ожидает в будущем
- Bielarus.net: Bielaruskaja Salidarnasc
- Official Zianon Pazniak's site – Pazniak.info
- Christian Conservative Party of the BPF