death penalty tagged posts

“Viasna” and FIDH presented the report on human rights violations in Belarus to OSCE

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At the the OSCE Human Dimension Meeting the heads of the HRC “Viasna” – the president of the center – former political prisoner Ales Bialiatski, vice-president Valiantsin Stefanovich, and coordinator of the campaign “Human rights defenders against the death penalty” Andrej Paluda – presented review of the human rights situation in Belarus on September 24 in Warsaw.

During the meeting on “Convincing violations of political, economic and social rights in Belarus”, organized by the International Federation for Human Rights and the Human Rights Center “Viasna” human rights defenders stressed that “because of the situation in Ukraine, as well as the deterioration of the human rights situation in Russia, we think that less attention is paid to Belarus “.

At the panel discussion were touched pr...

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Statement by the International Commission against the Death Penalty in Belarus

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The International Commission against the Death Penalty (ICDP) condemns the execution of Ryhor Yuzepchuk (45) by authorities in Belarus ; the second in 2014.

The  exact  date  of  Ryhor  Yuzepchuk’s  execution  is  not  clear;  the  Mogilev regional  court  in  western  Belarus  reportedly  confirmed  the  execution  after  it became  public  knowledge  on  8  May.  His  execution  could,  reportedly,  have taken place in April. In Belarus, executions are carried out by shooting; and its Criminal Executive Code provides for the government to not return the bodies of those executed to their families and not to inform them of where their body is buried.

According to reports reaching ICDP, Ryhor Yuzepchuk was initially sentenced to death in April 2013 for the J...

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Another execution in Belarus: court verdict against Ryhor Yuzepchuk carried out

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Mahilyou regional court informed that Ryhor Yuzepchuk has been executed. 45-year-old man was sentenced to death for killing his cellmate. The cellmate allegedly gambled away his life in domino game.

The death sentence to Ryhor Yuzepchyk was delivered on 25 April 2013, but did cause any considerable public outcry. The reason was the lack of information about the case and the identity of the murderer. For a long time, the authorities did not make even the name of the condemned person public.

Why system is silent about death executions?

On 25 April 2013, Mahilyou regional court sentenced Ryhor Yuzepchuk to death penalty. The case was heard at Mahilyou SIZO (investigative detention centre), and the hearing was closed for the public. The Supreme court upheld the verdict.

The Mahilyou court con...

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Miklós Haraszti : halt further executions

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The United Nations Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Belarus, Miklós Haraszti, has urged the Belarusian authorities to impose an immediate moratorium on death sentences and to refrain from carrying out further executions.

Mr. Haraszti’s appeal follows the reported execution of Pavel Sialiun and a Supreme Court ruling last week upholding the death sentence against Eduard Lykau, both convicted for murder. Belarus is the only European country that still retains the death penalty.

No reports of executions for a considerable time, despite the imposition of several new death sentences, had filled the international community with the hope that Belarus had started a practical moratorium, which would then lead to a legal moratorium, and finally to the abolition of capital...

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Catherine Ashton strongly condemns latest execution in Belarus

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The spokesperson of Catherine Ashton, High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice President of the Commission, issued the following statement today on the latest execution in Belarus:

“The High Representative strongly condemns the execution of Pavel Selyun, who was sentenced to death in June 2013.

The High Representative is conscious of the serious nature of the crimes for which he was convicted. However, she does not believe that capital punishment can ever be justified. The European Union opposes capital punishment under all circumstances. The death penalty is considered to be a cruel and inhuman punishment, which fails to act as a deterrent and represents an unacceptable denial of human dignity and integrity.

The High Representative urges Belarus, t...

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

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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...

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Another death sentence issued in Belarus

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26-year-old Homel resident Aliaksandr Hrunou has been repeatedly sentenced to death. According to the lawyer, the young man does not believe that he can be pardoned by the President, and therefore he is not sure whether he will apply for clemency.

On April 8, the Supreme Court re-heard the appeal of Aliaksandr Hrunou against the death sentence, issued to him by the Homel Regional Court. The young man was charged under Part 6 paragraph 2 of Article 139 of the Criminal Code – murder committed with extreme cruelty.

Story of the murder of a Homel student

September 20, 2012 Aliaksandr Hrunou killed his acquaintance, student Natallia Yemelyanchykava. He kept contacts with her brother. Both of them took part in skinhead movements and had a criminal record...

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Belarusian public opinion on crime and punishment, including the death penalty

In 2013, non-governemental organisation Penal Reform International commissioned a detailed survey of public opinion about crime, punishment and the death penalty in Belarus.

Market researchers, Satio, conducted the survey, interviewing 1,000 participants. The results show that opinions around capital punishment are more varied and nuanced than is often stated, while public attitudes about crime in general are strongly affected by respondents’ social position, background and emotions.

Key findings included:

  1. Support for the death penalty is only 64% – significantly down on the 80% who supported capital punishment in a 1996 referendum.
  2. Concerns about personal safety appeared to be a key reason for supporting the death penalty.
  3. Three-quarters of respondents felt that convicting an innoce...
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Catherine Ashton calls on Belarus to join global moratorium on the death penalty

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The spokesperson of Catherine Ashton, High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice President of the Commission, issued the following statement on December 19:

The High Representative regrets the death sentence recently handed down to an individual by the Minsk Regional Court. She hopes that his right to appeal will be fully exercised.

She is conscious of the serious nature of the crimes for which he has been convicted. However, capital punishment can never be justified. The European Union opposes capital punishment under all circumstances. The death penalty is cruel and inhuman punishment, which fails to act as a deterrent and represents an unacceptable denial of human dignity and integrity.

The High Representative urges Belarus, the only country in Eu...

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Belarus hands down another death sentence

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The Human Rights Center “Viasna” learned that another death verdict was pronounced in Belarus. The convict is Eduard Lykov, 53, charged with five episodes of murder while intoxicated. The sentence was handed down by the Minsk Regional Court on November 26, 2013. Lykov has been under investigation since 2011. During this time he has had three counsels.

He is known to have no permanent residence, maintaining contacts with his mother, who lives in Baranavichy. His son lives in Russia, and his daughter – in Germany, but Lykov has no contacts with his children. Lykov was born in Russia, but now he is a Belarusian national.

Andrei Paluda, coordinator of the campaign “Human Rights Defenders against the Death Penalty in Belarus”, notes that this case once again demonstrates that the government ...

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