MFA avoids direct answer to human rights defender’s petition in case of death convict Pavel Sialiun

2013 2013-10-24T12:28:08+0300 2013-10-24T12:28:08+0300 en The Human Rights Center “Viasna” The Human Rights Center “Viasna”
The Human Rights Center “Viasna”

Coordinator of the campaign "Human Rights Defenders against the Death Penalty in Belarus" Andrei Paluda received a response from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Belarus to his letter, in which the human rights activist informed the MFA of the registration in the UN Human Rights Committee of an individual complaint by Pavel Sialiun, sentenced to death earlier this year.

The human rights activist reminded the Foreign Ministry that "in accordance with paragraph 92 of the Rules of Procedure of the Committee the state should not execute a death sentence pending the consideration of his complaint by the Committee on the merits."

Since the monitoring function to ensure the suspension of execution during the consideration of an individual complaint by the Committee is the responsibility of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Andrei Paluda, guided by Regulation on the Ministry of Foreign Affairs No. 978, approved by the Council of Ministers of Belarus on July 31, 2006, asked the MFA to notify the Supreme Court, the Prosecutor General's Office and the Interior Ministry of the registration of Pavel Sialiun’s communication at the UN HRC.

In its reply signed by Deputy Minister Valiantsin Rybakou, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs reports that "the communication was indeed sent to the Belarusian side for written comments. In fulfilling its international obligations under the Optional Protocol (to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights), Belarus plans to send such comments to the Committee in the manner prescribed by Art. 4, Par. 2 of the Optional Protocol."

Meanwhile, the Ministry completely ignored the essence of the human rights defender’s petition on the suspension of execution.

Similar letters were also sent to the Ministry of Internal Affairs and the Prosecutor General's Office to urge the official not to execute the death sentence handed down by the Supreme Court on Pavel Sialiun during the consideration of his complaint by the UN Human Rights Committee. However, no responses to these requests have yet been received.


On June 12, the Hrodno Regional Court found Pavel Sialiun guilty of committing several grave offences, including double murder and desecration of corpses, and sentenced him to the exceptional measure of punishment - the death penalty. On September 17, the Criminal Division of the Supreme Court upheld the death sentence.