The company said that a 31-year-old man who was shot dead by Belarusian security forces this week in a raid on an apartment building in the capital, Minsk, was an employee of US-based software company Ibam Systems.
Footage broadcast on state television showed plainclothes police breaking down the door of an apartment and a man shooting at them as they entered.
Belarusian authorities said Soviet intelligence officers were shot dead on Tuesday after he opened fire on security forces, killing one of them as well. The KGB statement said that his wife was arrested.
The Belarus Investigative Committee, which investigates major crimes, said a 31-year-old man was “eliminated by retaliation” after resistance from law enforcement officers. Reuters was not able to independently verify statements or footage of the incident broadcast on Belarusian state television.
Forces loyal to President Alexander Lukashenko launched a violent crackdown protests Following a disputed election last year, including searches of apartment complexes where protesters were believed to be hiding.
In power since 1994, Lukashenko has defied Western sanctions and opposition calls to step down, describing the protesters as criminals bent on a violent uprising.
The IT industry – located mainly in a state-run technical park on the outskirts of Minsk – was a driving force behind the protests. The Belarusian founder of Epam was one of the signatories of an open letter calling for the release of prisoners and for new elections.
Local media and senior advisor to the exiled opposition leader Svyatlana Tsykhanoskaya Learn about the murdered man as Andre Zelzer, an IT worker with Epam. A LinkedIn page of a man with the same name indicates that he has worked at Epam since 2016.
“Although the person concerned was not named by any official source, we can confirm that the person reported in the media was an Epam employee,” Epam said. “The company has no information that the individual has any nationality or other residence status outside Belarus.”
Tsykhanoskaya described the incident earlier as “the result of the lawlessness in Belarus.” She added: “Our people no longer feel safe – even in their own homes. A despot who clings to power through violence and terror creates a confrontation between Belarusians.”
The human rights group Viasna-96 said that on Thursday, officers of the Belarusian KGB intelligence service arrested 50 people on charges of insulting a government official or inciting social hatred after the incident. “The arrests appear to be linked to comments on social media posts about the death of Andrei Zelzer and a KGB officer,” the rights group said. The Ministry of Interior could not be reached for comment.
Lukashenko’s spokeswoman said the death of the KGB officer “will not remain unpunished.”
The official official news agency, Belta, reported that the man was linked to the opposition movement, quoting one of the deputies. The KGB did not identify the man by name or occupation, but said he was a “terrorist” – the language he uses to describe protesters.
“I can’t say or think about anything. “I am shocked, I do not understand what is going on,” the Belarusian media Nasha Neva quoted Zeltser’s mother-in-law as saying. “Andrei is a very good person, a wonderful son-in-law.
“Do I consider Andrei a terrorist? Of course not.”