UN Accuses Belarus of Violating International Obligations
The United Nations Human Rights Committee voiced its grave concern over the execution of Dmitri Konovalov and Vladislav Kovalev. The latter filed a complaint to the committee, claiming fraudulent trial of his case and the pressure exerted upon him.
Since the complaint of Vladislav Kovalev has not yet been considered by
the UN Committee on Human Rights, the execution of the death penalty is
a violation of the International Covenant on Civil and Political
Rights, ratified by Belarus.
"The position of the Committee on Human Rights is clear - Belarus has committed grave breach of its legal obligations by executing Vladislav Kovalev," said the Committee’s chair, Zonke Zanele Majodina.
The head of the Committee draws attention to the fact that the Belarusian authorities have previously violated the law. For example, in 2010 and 2011 the country also executed persons whose cases were before the Committee.
"We deplore these flagrant violations of the human rights treaty obligations of Belarus. The Committee had asked the Belarus authorities to stay the execution pending its consideration of the case. Such requests are binding as a matter of international law," the Committee said, adding that it will continue to consider Mr. Kovalev’s case despite his execution.
As Telegraf previously reported, March 17, relatives of Vladislav Kovalev received a letter (http://telegraf.by/en/2012/03/konovalova-toje-rasstrelyali) from the Supreme Court. According to the report, the sentence upon Vladislav Kovalev had been enforced. Later it was reported on the execution of Dmitri Konovalov.
Under the Belarusian law, relatives of the executed have neither got the bodies of the executed nor have been reported (http://telegraf.by/en/2012/03/verhovnii-sud-vina-konovalova-i-kovaleva-s-besspornostyu-dokazana)on the place of their burial. Despite this, the Helsinki Foundation for Human Rights in Poland along with other international organizations condemned (http://telegraf.by/en/2012/03/verhovnii-sud-vina-konovalova-i-kovaleva-s-besspornostyu-dokazana)the death penalty, urging the Belarusian authorities to give out the bodies of Vladislav Kovalev and Dmitri Konovalov. In addition, the Foundation encourages Belarus to immediately set a moratorium on the death penalty.