Today is the second anniversary of explosion in Minsk metro

2013 2013-04-11T19:07:04+0300 1970-01-01T03:00:00+0300 en The Human Rights Center “Viasna” The Human Rights Center “Viasna”
The Human Rights Center “Viasna”
Monument to victims of the explosion in Minsk metro on 11 April 2011

Monument to victims of the explosion in Minsk metro on 11 April 2011

Memorial liturgies have been held in the Catholic and Orthodox churches of Minsk.

The explosion in Minsk metro station "Kastrychnitskaya" on 11 April 2011 at 5.56 p.m., claimed the lifes of15 people, 315 got injuries, 32 were seriously injured.

As early as in the evening of 12 April, two suspects were arrested: 25-year old natives of Vitsebsk Dzmitry Kanavalau and Uladzislau Kavaliou. In addition to charges of committing a terrorist attack on the subway after they were accused of explosions in Vitsebsk in the autumn of 2005 and in Minsk on 4 July 2008.

The criminal case of the attack on the subway
was considered by the Supreme Court. Kanavalau fully acknowledged his guilt during the trial. Kavaliou denied the involvement in all three explosions and stated that he had been forced to testify against himself and Kanavalau under the pressure of the investigation. The court sentenced both to death, recognizing Kanavalau guilty of malicious hooliganism and particularly willful destruction of property, illegal purchase, possession, transportation of explosives and explosive devices, terrorism, the dual murder of people, Kavaliou – guilty of particularly of malicious hooliganism, deliberate destruction of property, illegal purchase, possession, transportation of explosives and explosive devices, failure to report about the preparation of a particularly serious crime of a particularly serious crime and the person who committed it, and the place of its location, as well as aiding and abetting terrorism.

Kavaliou filed a clemency petition to President. According to the official information, Kanavalau didn't file such petition.

Lukashenko refused to pardon
them, referring to the "extremely grave danger and the social consequences of the terrorist act". His decision was announced on TV on 14 March. Three days later the mother of Uladzislau Kavaliou received a letter from the Supreme Court, which said that the verdict against her son had been implemented. Judging by the postmark, the letter was sent on 16 March. On 28 March Liubou Kavaliova received from the registry office a certificate confirming the death of her son. According to this document, Uladzislau Kavaliou died on 15 March. The corresponding entry in the book of registration of deaths was made on 20 March. The graph about the cause of death was left blank.

Human rights activists and international organizations, including the European Union, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe and the OSCE, urged
Lukashenka to reconsider his decision to deny clemency to Kavaliou and Kanavalau. They all point to the fact that the trial of Kavaliou and Kanavalau left too many questions.

The UN
Human Rights Committee, which received a complaint from Kavaliou's family, called on the Belarusian authorities not to execute convicted before the consideration of the complaint. However, this call was ignored.

Many people in Belarus, including some victims of the terrorist attack,
doubt that Nanavalau and Kavaliou are really guilty. They point out that the trial did not meet the standards of legal protection and ignored evidence. Human rights defenders, in their turn, state that the the unprecedented rapid execution of the accused looks suspicious.

The international community, including the Council of Europe and the European Union condemned the shooting of K
anavalau and Kavaliou, and once again called on Belarus, the only country in Europe which still uses the death penalty, to introduce a moratorium.