Human Rights House Foundation

Belarus

Image: The first death sentence in 2017 is executed in Belarus  
Copyright: intelligent88.ru

The first death sentence in 2017 is executed in Belarus

Representatives of the campaign "Human rights defenders against the death penalty in Belarus" reported that the resident of Gomel Siarhei Vostrykau has been executed. His mother received a notification with this information from the Gomel Regional Court. This is the first death penalty in Belarus in 2017.

Saturday, 06 May 2017, by Belarusian HRH based on spring96.org

Campaign coordinator Andrei Paluda believes that the execution must have been enforced between 13 and 29 April, as the last letter from detention center was dated April 13, and the Regional Court was informed of carrying out the death sentence on May 29. In addition, the mother was allowed to meet with her son in detention center on 5 April. It was their last meeting. 

The Gomel Regional Court sentenced to death the 33-year-old resident of the regional center on 19 May 2016. Siarhei Vostrykau was convicted of two separate counts of rape and murder. The Supreme Court upheld the death sentence.

Now human rights defenders are trying to clarify information about the fate of one more person sentenced to death penalty, a resident of Mozyr Kiryl Kazachok, who was convicted of the murder of two of his own children.  He refused to appeal the verdict to the Supreme Court in a relevant application, and therefore the case was removed from the appellate review. The current practice shows that it is very rare, that death convicts, who don't have any more opportunities to appeal the verdict or get a pardon from the president, are executed one by one.

That why it is possibly only one death convict remaining in a death row, a resident of Naroulya Aliaksei Mikhalenia, who still has an opportunity to appeal his sentence to the Supreme Court.

The reaction of the international community

The Secretary General of the Council of Europe Thorbjorn Jagland has expressed his deep disappointment at the reports of continuing use of the death penalty in Belarus.

“The death penalty is an injustice," says Jagland in his statement, which was spread by the press service of the Council of Europe on 5 May. "Its use is particularly unfortunate due to the ongoing Belarusian dialogue on the issue of the abolition of the death penalty”.

Jagland called on the Belarusian authorities to immediately introduce a moratorium on the death penalty and replace already existing death sentences to other sentences. "I'm talking again about our firm conviction that the death penalty is contrary to European values," - said the Secretary general of the Council of Europe.

Also in connection with another death penalty in Belarus, the European Union reiterated the unacceptability of this form of punishment under any circumstances. This was said in a statement of the official representative of the European External Action Service, which was spread on 6 May, informed BelaPAN.

"The death penalty is contrary to the declared by Belarus willingness to cooperate with the international community, including with the European Union, on this issue and to consider the introduction of a moratorium on the death penalty," - says the statement.

The EU calls on Belarus, the only country in Europe that still implements death penalty, to immediately impose a moratorium on its use as a first step towards abolition of this form of punishment. The EU also calls upon the commutation of remaining death sentences to the other punishments.

Belarusian HRH based on spring96.org

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