“In the name of the Republic of Belarus”: Pavel Sialiun executed

death-penalty

Death convict Pavel Sialiun is said to have been executed one of these days. Meanwhile, his complaint is still pending before the UN Human Rights Committee. This means that Belarus has once again breached its international obligations.

On 12 June 2013, the Hrodna Regional Court found Pavel Sialiun, 23 years old former student of the Belarusian State University’s History Department, guilty under four articles of the Criminal Code, including double murder, theft and desecration of corpses. The young man had no criminal record. He said his actions were an act of jealousy – he killed his wife and her lover.

For multiple offenses, the trial court sentenced Pavel Sialiun to capital punishment.

The convict appealed against the verdict. On 17 September 2013, the appeal was considered by the Supreme Court’s Judicial Board and the verdict was upheld.

Pavel Sialiun mother wrote to President Lukashenka and the then head of the Belarusian Orthodox Church Filaret asking for help in pardoning her son and replacing the death penalty with life imprisonment. Pavel Sialiun himself also appealed for pardon to Lukashenka.

Today the convict’s mother learned from his lawyer that the sentence had been carried out. The lawyer came to the meeting with her client, but she was told that Sialiun had “departed on sentence”, which meant that the convict had been executed.

No written documents or messages have been sent to Pavel Sialiun’s relatives. His mother was not notified of the decision by the commission for pardon or the date of execution. In the coming days, she was going to visit her son in prison.

The United Nations Human Rights Committee registered a complaint on behalf of Pavel Sialiun. According to paragraph 92 of the Committee’s Rules of Procedure, the State should not execute a death sentence until the victim’s complaint is considered on the merits. Thus, Belarus has once again violated its international obligations.

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