Mother of a death convict applies to the head of the Belarusian Orthodox Church
Tamara Siliun calls on Filaret to apply
to President Lukashenka with a clemency petition and a request to
abolish the death sentence towards her son.
On 12 September the Hrodna Regional Court found Pavel Siliun guilty under four articles of the Criminal Code of the Republic of Belarus – Article 139, part 2 paragraphs 1 and 6 (killing of two persons, committed with an especial cruelty); Article 205, part 1 (theft); Article 347, part 1 (mockery at corpses) and Article 378 (theft of personal documents), and sentenced him to the death penalty on the aggregate of all crimes. The trial was lead by Judge Anatol Zayats.
The mother of the death convict applied to the Patriarchal Exarche of the whole Belarus Filaret. In her letter the woman states that her son deeply regrets about the lost lives of his victims and sympathizes with their friends and relatives. “However, I am his mother and I am concerned with his fate. Of course, he must serve a penalty, but not by taking away the life which was granted by the God. I heard over the radio that you are also against the death penalty, and your ecclesiastical rank inspires it too. You are respected by President, that's why I apply to You with a request: “please, address Aliaksandr Ryhoravich with a petition for clemency and abolish the death verdict to my son”.
The coordinator of the campaign “Human rights defenders against the death penalty” Andrei Paluda stated that on 17 September the Supreme Court would consider the cassation appeal of Pavel Siliun on the verdict.
“We think that the defendant must get a due punishment, but are blankly against the death penalty”, said the human rights defender.
The Patriarchal Exarche of Belarus, Metropolitan Filaret repeatedly issued statements about the reasonableness of refusing from the death penalty.
“Belarusian Orthodox Church has insistently drawn the public attention to the problem of the death penalty back in the 1990-ies. In 1996, on the eve of the referendum, at which the death penalty was one of the points of discussion, we called the Belarusian people to refuse from this kind of penalty. “We are Christians and cannot justify the death penalty, because this is the sin of murder... The life of each human being belongs to his Creator, God. It wasn't us, sinful people, who gave this life and we have no right to deprive anyone of it, because our God Jesus Christ sacrificed his life for each of us, having experienced sufferings, insults, mockery and death on the Cross... The State which kills its own citizens crucifies Christ anew each time.” This was our position during the year of the referendum. It remains unchanged,” emphasized the head of the Belarusian Chrurch.