International civil society gorups release statement on execution of Uladzislau Kavalyou and Dzmitry Kanavalau
Statement on execution of Uladzislau Kavalyou and Dzmitry Kanavalau
It was learned on 17 March 2012 that Dzmitry Kanavalau and Uladzislau Kavalyou, the two men sentenced to death in connection with the Minsk subway explosion in April 2011, had been executed.
The Belarusian authorities thus ignored the requests of representatives of the European Union and international human rights groups, and demonstrated their rejection of universally accepted principles of humanism and disregard for international law.
We believe the death penalty to be absolutely unacceptable. Such type of punishment is irreversible, brutal, inhumane and degrading. The execution of Kavalyou and Kanavalau is yet another symbol of the medieval despotism of the dictator regime of Aliaksandr Lukashenka. This is a regime without an independent judicial system, trials which cover up the unlawful actions of the Belarusian authorities, endless human rights violations, and cases of politically motivated and still unsolved abduction of several political opponents of Lukashenka.
Members of the European Parliament, the Council of Europe and influential international human rights organizations, including Amnesty International and Human Rights House, have condemned the execution. They cite a number of well-founded reasons for concern regarding the fairness of the trial.
The men were executed despite the request from the UN Human Rights Committee to take no action until they had examined the appeal and despite the lack of a ruling on the final appeal stage in Belarus. The Belarusian authorities did not fully allow the men their constitutional rights and demonstrated ignorance of both domestic legislation and international agreements.
We are calling on the Belarusian authorities to respect human dignity and to return the bodies of the executed men to their families.
We also urge Aliaksandr Lukashenka to immediately issue a moratorium on the death penalty.
We are calling on the European Union to consolidate their efforts and to take further steps needed to ensure that the Lukashenka regime respects human rights and the fundamental principles of democracy.
Lyudmila Alexeeva, Moscow Helsinki Group, Russia
Lev Ponomarev, All-Russian Public Movement “For Human Rights”, Russia
Lars Bünger, Libereco - Partnership for Human Rights, Germany, Switzerland
Irina Bogdanova, Free Belarus Now, United Kingdom
Natalia Koliada, Nikolai Khalezin, Free Belarus Theatre, United Kingdom
Lera Krasovskaya, Civil Initiative “We Remember”, Netherlands
Dzmitry Barodka, European Belarus, Belarus
Belarusian Tribunal, Netherlands, Sweden, Estonia
Young Front, Belarus
Białoruski Dom w Warszawie, Poland
Michal Veselsky, Civic Belarus, Czech Republic
Yury Kozhuro, Sveriges Belarusier, Sweden
Silver Meikar, Estonian Institute of Human Rights, Estonia
Svetla Baeva, Bulgarian Helsinki Committee, Bulgaria
Arkady Bushchenko, Ukrainian Helsinki Human Rights Union, Ukraine
Olga Sadovskaya, Committee Against Torture, Russia
Olexandra Matviychuk, Center for Civil Liberties, Ukraine
Maryna Tsapok, All-Ukrainian Youth NGO "Foundation of Regional Initiatives", Ukraine
Halyna Coynash, Kharkiv Human Rights Group, Ukraine
Ludmila Klochko, Kharkiv Human Rights Group, Ukraine
Yuri Dzhibladze, Centre for the Development of Democracy and Human Rights, Russia
Аndrey Kalikh, Centre for the Development of Democracy and Human Rights, Russia
Andrei Blinushov, "Human Rights In Russia" (HRO.org), Russia
Jevgeni Krishtafovich, Avatud Vabariik, Estonia
Korespondent Wschodni, Poland
Abdujalil Boymatov, Human Rights Society of Uzbekistan, Ireland
Nadejda Atayeva, Association for Human Rights in Central Asia, France
Kostiantyn Reutski, Human Rights Center "Postup", Ukraine
Yury Belousov, Association of Human Rights Monitors on Law Enforcement, Ukraine
Vadim Pyvovarov, Association of Human Rights Monitors on Law Enforcement, Ukraine
Kateryna Levchenko, International Women’s Rights Centre La Strada Ukraine, Ukraine
Natalia Shcherbata, Ukrainian Association of Women Defence Lawyers, Ukraine
Alexei Svyetikov, Luhansk Regional Committee of Voters of Ukraine, Ukraine
Kiryll Atamanchik, Youth association StudAlliance, Lithuania
Volodymyr Khanas, Adaptative Mens Center, Ukraine