BelaPAN director Ales Lipai dies

Ales Lipai. Photo:

The founder of Belarus' leading private news agency BelaPAN Ales Lipai died on 23 August in Minsk at the age of 52. He was reportedly fighting with cancer in the past several years.

Ales Lipai was born in 1966 in the Kopyl district. He graduated from the journalism faculty at Belarus State University. Ales began his journalism career at Znamya Yunosti youth newspaper and worked as a Belarus correspondent for Radio Liberty in 1988. In 1991, he became a co-founder and director of the first private news agency BelaPAN. Lipai will be known as a poet who published two poetry collections. He was a member of the Union of Belarusian Writers and Belarusian PEN Center.

In June 2018, a crimnal case was opened against Ales Lipai "for large-scale tax evasion" ("failure to pay taxes from the income received from abroad"), his apartment was searched. Lipai eventually settled the unpaid taxes and the fine. This investigation may have affected his health condition.

Ales Lipai will be buried on 26 August in Rudziensk.

Euroradio expresses condolences to the family of Ales Lipai.