UN Human Rights Committee recognized violation of the right to life in Andrei Zhuk's case
Having considered the individual appeal of the death convict Andrei Zhuk, executed in 2010, the UN Human Rights Committee found that his right to life was violated by the Belarusian state.
As stated by the human rigths defender Raman Kisliak, who prepared the appeal to the Human Rights Committee on behalf of the convict's mother within the frames of the campaign "Human Rights Defenders against the death penalty in Belarus", reports that the Committee granted all points of the appeal. Namely, it recognized the violation of Article 6 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights – the right to life, Article 7 of the Covenant, which prohibits torture and inhuman treatment, Article 9 of the Covenant – the right to liberty and security of person and Article 14 – the right to a fair trial and the presumption of innocence.
We should remind that Andrei Zhuk was sentenced to capital punishment in July 2009 . His mother, Sviatlana Zhuk, filed to the Committee an individual communication with the request of its urgent registration. The Committee accepted the appeal for consideration, and Belarus was infomred about it by a notice from the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights on registration of the appeal. The procedure of the Human Rights Committee requires the suspension of the execution while the case is pending. However , the death sentence was carried out in March 2010 – before the end of the consideration of the complaint by the Committee.
The case of Andrei Zhuk is the second one in the practice of the campaign "Human Rights Defenders against the death penalty in Belarus", considered by the Human Rights Committee. The first one was the case of Uladzislau Kavaliou (executed together with Dzmitry Kanavalau in 2012). To date, four other cases of death convicts are pending at the Committee – the case of Vasil Yuzepchuk (shot in 2010) , Andrei Burdyka and Aleh Hryshkautsou (shot in 2011) and the case of Pavel Seliun, whose death sentence was left in force by the Supreme Court upheld in September 2013.