Relatives of death convict Uladzislau Kavaliou ask Supreme Court to declassify place of burial
Mother and sister of Uladzislau Kavaliou executed on charges of organizing a terrorist attack in the Minsk metro in 2011 have sent a supervisory appeal to the Chairman of the Supreme Court. They ask to cancel the decision of the Court of Minsk’s Kastrychnitski district and the Board of Civil Affairs of the City Court. Both courts refused to institute civil proceedings against the KGB, the Interior Ministry and the Department of Corrections over their refusal to provide information about the burial place of their son.
Earlier, Liubou Kavaliova and Tatsiana Kaziar wrote to the Kastrychnitski District Court of Minsk. And later they tried to appeal against the decision to the Board of Civil Affairs of the Minsk City Court. But to no avail, as the Board also dismissed their private complaint. Judge Aksana Budouskaya agreed with the findings of the Court of Kastrychnitski District, saying that the consideration this petition is not within the jurisdiction of general courts in Belarus.
A complaint to the Chairman of the Supreme Court, prepared by lawyer Siarhei Halubok, mentions at least two points that speak in favor of their right to have their complaint considered.
Firstly, both the District and City Court did not take into account the opinion of the UN Human Rights Committee that there was a violation of Article 7 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. Belarus ratified this treaty and, respectively, it must adhere to its provisions. A ban on consideration of the case in court means that Belarus keeps ignoring the demands of a document it ratified.
Secondly, Kavaliou’s relatives were denied the realization of their constitutional right to an independent trial and legal defense. Even if the court considers that the question of the place of burial is not within the jurisdiction of general courts in Belarus, relatives had the right to know where they can apply to receive this kind of information.
Uladzislau Kavaliou’s relatives ask to forward their claim against the law enforcement agencies to the District Court for consideration on the merits.
Moreover, they argue that charges of terrorism and the death verdict for their son and brother were unfair and unreasonable. They are ready to fight to learn the truth about the burial place at any level, including international bodies. They demand that the Belarusian State implemented the decision of the UN Human Rights Committee. The HRC’s decision said that Belarus violated Uladzislau Kavaliou’s right to life. And in respect of the applicants, Liubou Kavaliova and Tatsiana Kaziar, there was a violation of the right to receive the body of a dead relative and to have access to information about the time and place of his burial.