Amnesty International: Rygor Yuzepchuk could be executed within months

2013 2013-06-18T14:44:51+0300 1970-01-01T03:00:00+0300 en The Human Rights Center “Viasna” The Human Rights Center “Viasna”
The Human Rights Center “Viasna”



A prisoner, Rygor Yuzepchuk, was sentenced to death on 24 April for the murder of a cellmate in eastern Belarus. He could be executed within months.

Amnesty International has recently learnt that Mahiliou regional court sentenced Rygor Yuzepchuk to death for the murder of a cellmate in prison number 4 in Mahiliou, his alleged accomplice was sentenced to 16 years. According to media reports the three prisoners had staked their lives on a game of dominos and the losing prisoner was strangled with a scarf on 5 July 2012. Rygor Yuzepchuk has not denied killing his cellmate. He was serving a 25-year sentence for murder, and had been previously convicted. The killing of Rygor Yuzepchuk's cellmate was carried out in a prison under the authority of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, which has a duty to protect those in custody.

A new wave of death sentences are being imposed in Belarus. In another murder case in the eastern city of Homel, the prosecutor has asked for the death penalty: and a death sentence was recently pronounced in Hrodna.

In Belarus, death sentences are often imposed after unfair trials which include forced confessions; they are implemented in strict secrecy and without giving adequate notice to the inmates themselves, their families or legal representatives. The authorities refuse to return the bodies of those executed to their relatives or even tell them where they are buried; and executions are carried out despite requests from the UN Human Rights Committee to the government not to carry out the executions. The Human Rights Committee and others have found that the application of the death penalty in Belarus violates the human rights of those convicted and their families.

Please write immediately in Belarusian, Russian, English or your own language:

Urging President Lukashenka to commute immediately the death sentence of Rygor Yuzepchuk;

Calling on him to establish an immediate moratorium on the use of the death penalty;

Calling on the Prosecutor General to investigate how it was possible for Rygor Yuzepchuk's cellmate to be murdered inside a prison.