Belarusian authorities consider Yuzepchuk’s address to UN illegal
The Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights has received from the state organs of Belarus explanations concerning the individual communication on behalf of the death convict Vasil Yuzepchuk.
In the information of the Belarusian government it is stated that the communication was illegal as Yuzepchuk hasn’t depleted the national means of defense. It is also stated that at present Yuzepchuk’s petition for clemency is considered by the president. Belarus also refutes the fact of violation of Article 6 of the Covenant of civil and Political Rights (right to life), as the verdict was issued in conformity with the Belarusian legislation. It is also stated that the death penalty is executed only after the consideration of the review complaint by the Supreme Court and consideration of the petition for clemency by the president.
The human rights defender Raman Kisliak does not agree that the individual communication on behalf of Yuzepchuk was submitted too early:
- Both the review complaint to the Supreme Court and the clemency petition are extraordinary means of legal defense, not the usual means of appealing against human rights violations. That’s why there’s no need to ask the president for clemency before applying to the UN Human Rights Committee. The communication has been registered and the state must executed its undertakings on the Covenant. I hope that such statement of the question is just a mistake, not the position of the competent state organs.
Mr. Kisliak believes that the execution of the death verdict must be suspended not only to the consideration of the case on the national level, but also to the consideration of the communication by the UN Human Rights Committee. Yuzepchuk’s remarks concerning the information of the Belarusian state can be submitted to the Committee till 14 December.