Belarusian authorities failed to timely inform Andrei Zhuk’s mother about execution of her son

2010 2010-06-03T18:52:22+0300 1970-01-01T03:00:00+0300 en The Human Rights Center “Viasna” The Human Rights Center “Viasna”
The Human Rights Center “Viasna”

The certificate about the death of the son was issued to Sviatlana Zhuk only on 1 June. According to the document, the date of his death is 18 March. There is a dash in the graph 'the cause of death'. The act of the death registration is dated 21 March.

The woman had to take much effort to receive a documental confirmation that her son is no more alive. One cannot call the attitude of the Belarusian authorities to the parents of the shot death convicts any other word but mockery. The sentence was executed, but they don’t even consider it as necessary to inform the parents.

On 31 May Sviatlana Zhuk came to the Ministry of Internal Affairs, because she hadn’t received a timely answer to her inquiry to the minister dated 6 April. She asked the official to confirm the fact of the execution of her son and, inform her about the date and place of his burial and explain the reasons for such hurried execution of the death verdict.

According to Sviatlana Zhuk, the MIA officials failed to tell the reasons for their silence, but forwarded her to the Supreme Court. When she came there – the court officials told her to apply to the court of the primary instance, the Minsk Region Court, where the death verdict had been issued. The Minsk Region Court, in its turn, directed her to the district registry office for receiving the death certificate, and also offered no explanations why the parents hadn’t been informed about the execution for more than two months.

'We suspected that Andrei had been shot on 18 March, but received no official information about it, no papers were sent to us. Andrei was still registered in our apartment and the communal fees included him as a dweller. He was also in the lists of electors at the recent election to the local councils of deputies that was held on 25 March,' said the mother.

She says that they kept hoping that the son was alive, although the head of the prison had orally confirmed his execution back on 22 March.

Bear in mind that the death convicts Vasil Yuzepchuk and Andrei Zhuk were shot in conformity with the death verdicts that were issued in Belarus. The executions were conducted in violation of the international norms in the sphere of human rights, athwart the demands of the UN Human Rights Committee, that accepted for consideration the individual communications on behalf of Yuzepchuk and Zhuk and informed the Belarusian authorities about it by means of a verbal note, demanding to suspend the sentences till consideration on the merits of the communications.