Death convict Andrei Zhuk pleas for mercy
Andrei Zhuk, sentenced to death for alleged murder of two persons, has lodged a plea for mercy with President Lukashenka. This is his last and only chance.
Belarusian human rights activists believe that Andrei Zhuk should be pardoned. ‘We, as human rights defenders, call upon the Belarusian authorities to display humanism. Andrei Zhuk’s family have also addressed the President with a plea for mercy. Albeit lacking any legal effect, we do hope their appeal will be taken into consideration by the authorities, too,’ said Viasna’s lawyer Valiantsin Stefanovich.
According to the human rights activist, Zhuk’s pardon could be a step towards the declaration of a moratorium on the death penalty in Belarus.
‘Zhuk’s pardon would be a good precondition for the declaration of a moratorium on the death penalty, and Belarus could make an efficient step towards the improvement of its contacts with the European Union and the Council of Europe. Since the Council of Europe expects Belarus to declare a moratorium, European officials could be ready to consider the issue of restoring the Special Guest Status of Belarus, frozen back in 1996. We once again call upon the Belarusian authorities to declare a moratorium on the death penalty,’ said Mr. Stefanovich.