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Zianon Pazniak (Belarusian: Зянон Станіслававіч 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. 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 NKVD mass executions in the forest of Kurapaty near Minsk. At that time, he became a leader of the Belarusian national movement for freedom and independence. 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.
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 against Russian people.
Following emigration, Zianon Pazniak is still active in leading the CCP-BPF (Christian Conservative Party of the 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.
Stanislav Shushkevich thinks that neither the West nor Belarus needs Pazniak. Shushkevich says Pazniak is a political deserter, he ran away from Belarus, he is cowardly. Pazniak's radicalism was incomprehensible to people. However Pazniak believes that he is the prophet.
- Зянон Пазьняк: “Нацыяналізм і дэмакратыя – сынонімы”
- Крымінальная справа супраць Пазьняка не закрытая
- "Prague Declaration – Declaration Text". June 3, 2008. Retrieved January 28, 2010.
- Шушкевич: Позняк - политический дезертир // Belarusian partisan, November 02, 2012
- Павал Шарамет. Онлайн-канфэрэнцыя // Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty
- Алексей Янукевич: «Поиски агентов спецслужб в своих рядах — признак паранойи» Archived November 10, 2013, at the Wayback Machine.
- R. Medvedev. Александр Лукашенко. Контуры белорусской модели. Москва, 2010. ISBN 978-5-93679-126-0
- Новодворская: Позняк "умер", когда сбежал // Belarusian partisan, January 21, 2013