Minsk: human rights defenders show “Departed on Sentence”
On 10 October, marking the World Day against the Death Penalty, Belarusian human rights defenders held the first run of the documentary “Departed on Sentence”.
The film was produced by Viktar Tratsiakou on Palina Stsepanenka's script within the framework of the “Human Rights Defenders against the Death Penalty” campaign.
“Departed on the sentence” are the words by which citizens of the present-day Belarus are informed that their relatives have been punished with death. This is a standard phrase and nobody can change anything in this formulation, even the head of the prison. None of the duty officials have the right to utter the word “shooting”. “Departed on the sentence” is a bureaucratic idiom remaining from the Soviet instructions, in which it replaced the notorious “ten years without the right to correspondence” long time ago.
“Departed on Sentence” is the second film, shot within the framework of the “Human Rights Defenders against the Death Penalty” campaign. The first film “Cause of Death ____ “was dedicated to the non-issuance of the bodies of the executed to their relatives, and also questioned why the state made a secret out of death executions – the date of the execution is not announced, the bodies of the convicts aren't issued to the relatives for burying and a dash is put in the “cause of death” graph in the death certificate.
The film “Departed on Sentence” also tells about the problem of existence of executioners – the people who execute the sentences on behalf of the state. Aleh Alkayeu, a former head of the pre-trial prison #1 in Minsk, the author of the “Shooting Crew” book who personally participated in 134 death executions, tells about it in this documentary.