Valer Filipau joins campaign against death penalty in Belarus

2009 2009-09-11T20:54:44+0300 1970-01-01T03:00:00+0300 en The Human Rights Center “Viasna” The Human Rights Center “Viasna”
The Human Rights Center “Viasna”



Valer Filipau, doctor of physical and mathematical sciences, is one of the first Belarusian human rights defenders who started struggling for the abolishment of the death penalty in Belarus. Three editions, dedicated to the right to life, have been edited by him. Valer Filipau signed the petition to the Bealrusian authorities and gave us an interview about the aspects of the death penalty. ‘The attitude to the death penalty is quite a complicated question with centuries-old history. We can single out different aspects of this issue: historical, morally-spiritual, juridical and philosophical. Well-known Russian philosopher Vladimir Solovyiov also singled out the morally-juridical aspect while considering the question of the death penalty. Pitifully enough, the problem of the abolishment of the death penalty has become a political one and it is often used for political purposes. The most peculiar example of such usage is Maximilien Robespierre and the death penalty. In 1791 this well-known activist of the Great French Revolution appeared at the Convent with a fiery, well-grounded speech for the abolishment of the death penalty. However, later he used the most severe kinds of punishment including the death penalty for the assertion of his democratic ideals and realization of his ideas. In particular, he actively advocated the execution of Luis XVI. In 1793 Luis XVI ended his life on guillotine. By ill luck, the following year Maximiliene Robespierre was executed by the same guillotine. A year later, in 1795, the French Convent entirely abolished the death penalty. However, about 40 hours later this kind of penalty was returned. But in 1981 the death penalty was abolished in France once and for all. At present it is enshrined in the supreme law of France – the Constitution: no one can be punished by death. This issue also has habitual aspect. Many people treat the death penalty in the terms of simple judgments, grounded on intuiting. The aim of my interview is to show that this problem is many-sided, to give food for thought, so that the people could have arguments to defend their position: ‘for’ or ‘against’ the death penalty.’