Relatives of the executed demand amendments to Belarusian Penal Code
Liubou and Tatsiana Kavaliova, mother and sister of Uladzislau Kavaliou, who was executed in March 2012, addressed the President of Belarus Aliaksandr Lukashenka and other officials with a question about the articles in the Belarusian legislation, under which the body of an executed death convict is not returned to his family.
Monday, 14 May 2012, by Belarusian HRH based on spring96.org
Liubou (right) and Tatsiana Kavaliova appealed to President Aliaksandr Lukashenka, as well as to Head of the Department of Corrections, members of the House of Representatives of Belarus and the Council of the Republic, enquiring why bodies of the executed convicts are not returned to the family, and the place of their burial remains secret.
The relatives of the executed Uladzislau Kavaliou had already appealed to Aliaksandr Lukashenka, requesting to return the body of their son and brother so that they could bury him according to the Orthodox tradition. The response received from the Department of Corrections and the presidential administration stated that in accordance with paragraph 5 of Article 175 of the Penal Code the bodies of the executed are not returned to relatives and the place of burial shall remain unknown to them.
In their new appeal to the President, Kavaliou's family ask to explain "for what reason these norms are adopted in the Belarusian legislation" and "why, after the execution, the relatives of the executed are tortured", as neither the body of the executed is returned to them nor they are informed about the burial place. Kavaliou's family want to know what the ground for such a law is and why "the relatives cannot get the body of the executed and bury him in accordance with their religious beliefs".
In their appeal, the relatives of Uladzislau Kavaliou stress that it is not a formal response with the reference to the Penal Code that they need, but an informative justification of the legal norm. Kavaliovas believe that "there are no reasonable grounds for not returning the body to relatives or concealing the place of his burial".
Uladzislau Kavaliou's family suggest the legislation should be amended, as they believe that the existing regulations are cruel and inhumane in regard to the family of the executed. In particular, Kavaliovas suggest cancelling the provision of paragraph 5 of Article 175 of the Penal Code.
They believe that President Aliaksandr Lukashenka can solve the problem of disclosing the place of their family member's grave - if an appropriate decree is issued.
On 30 November, 2011 the Supreme Court of the Republic of Belarus has passed a death sentence in the case of Dzmitry Kanavalau and Uladzislau Kavaliou, who were accused of committing a series of bomb attacks, including the one during the celebration of Independence Day in 2008, and the terrorist attack in Minsk metro on 11 April, 2011. As a result of the metro attack 15 people were killed and hundreds were injured.
On 14 March, 2012 it became known that President Aliaksandr Lukashenka refused to pardon Dzmitry Kanavalau and Uladzislau Kavaliou who had been sentenced to death for the terrorist attack in Minsk metro. On 17 March Kavaliou's relatives received a letter from the Supreme Court informing that his execution was carried out.
Uladzislau Kavaliou’s mother had already appealed to Lukashenka on 22 March asking to return her son's body. She asked President Lukashenka not to apply the rules of the Executive Penal Code in this case, because she believes that Uladzislau Kavaliou was sentenced to capital punishment unfairly. The mother denies involvement of her son in the explosion in Minsk metro.
On 11 April, on the anniversary of the attack, she received an answer signed by S.I. Buko, Head of department on work with citizens and legal persons of the presidential administration, which read that "the consideration of this matter is not included in the competence of the Presidential Administration" and that the legislation does not allow that information on the burial places of executed convicts be disclosed to their relatives.
Belarusian HRH based on spring96.org