Death penalty music project: on crucifixion and gas chambers

2013 2013-09-30T15:12:16+0300 2013-09-30T15:12:16+0300 en The Human Rights Center “Viasna” The Human Rights Center “Viasna”
The Human Rights Center “Viasna”

A joint music project entitled Aposhni Zolak (“The Last Dawn”) is expected to be presented online in early October. Its participants advocate for an end to the practice of the death penalty in Belarus.

As part of the project, well-known musicians will sing about the basic ways of executing death convicts, one brand new and one old song in a new arrangement of each of them. Liavon Volski will sing about crucifixion, Aliaksandr Pamidorau – about gas chambers, Hanna Khitryk – on the guillotine, Ales Dzianisau – about the shooting, Nasta Shpakouskaya – about the electric chair, Viktar Rudenka – about poison, and Zmitser Vaitsiushkevich – about the gallows.

It is worth noting that the project is voluntary and is far from the principles of propaganda. Each of the musicians has his or her arguments against the practice of the death penalty in Belarus, and one’s personal approach to the subject. But all agree that the current situation is unacceptable.

Hanna Khitryk and Nasta Shpakouskaya believe that the issues of birth and death are beyond human competence. Liavon Volski is convinced that even the worst criminals should be allowed to realize the gravity of the offense and repent. “In this sense, a life sentence in the case of a particularly grave crime is more appropriate punishment,” he says.

Viktar Rudenka adds a different emphasis: “If we are trying to promote a society without violence and killing, we must, at all levels, give them up. Even the legitimate death penalty is a murder, which creates a negative example for the society.”

Aliaksandr Pamidorau, Zmitser Vaitsiushkevich and Ales Dzianisau say the questions primarily deals with erroneous sentences, as was the case for the known cases of Mikhasevich, Chikatilo and so on. “The fact is that because of one bad man someone completely innocent can be killed. Any of us. For me this is important,” says Aliaksandr Pamidorau.

The project Aposhni Zolak has been timed to coincide with the World Day against the Death Penalty, which is celebrated on October 10. Since 1997, Europe is de facto a space free from the death penalty. Belarus is the only exception.