Week Against Death Penalty: News from Belarusian regions
Human rights activities within the framework of the Week Against the Death Penalty in Belarus are held in Belarus on October 5-10 under the slogan "Death Penalty Is Murder". The Human Rights Centre "Viasna" invites everyone to join the activities of the Week, which is held within the framework of the campaign "Human Rights Defenders Against Death Penalty in Belarus" for the second year already, attracting the attention of death penalty opponents from other countries.
Hrodna. October 5, Hrodna human rights activists started their participation in the nationwide campaign “Week Against the Death Penalty”, announced by "Human Rights Defenders Against the Death Penalty" and the Human Rights Centre "Viasna". Belarus is the only country in Europe where the death penalty is practiced. Therefore, this topic is very important for the human rights defenders, who work mass events which attract the public attention to the killing of individuals on behalf of the state. Hrodna activists called their action "Hrodna Against the Death Penalty".
At the beginning, the human rights defenders offered to everyone watching movies on the topic of the death penalty. Then, in another place, there was held a discussion "Death Penalty and Civilization Choice" with participation of Uladizmir Khilmanovich, Viktar Sazonau, Raman Yurhel, Aliaksandr Vasilevich, a priest of the Greek-Catholic Church Andrei Krot, civil society activists Vitaut Parfionenka, Yezhy Hryhencha and others.
The head of Hrodna branch of the Human Rights Centre "Viasna" Viktar Sazonau prepared a special article on the subject, which was presented for public discussion, posted on the Internet, on sites of the Belarusian Radio Radio Station, "Hrodna Viasna", in the weekly "Niva" and sent it to the announced contest of articles against the death penalty. The event organizers invited all present people to take part in such contests and spread their views in the society.
After this, the activists shot video clips with the people's speeches on the subjects. These include speeches by the human rights defenders themselves. The videos will be published at the website Volnajaharodnia and in social networks.
At the end of the "round table" the human rights activists handed out music CDs and booklets dedicated to the topic of the death penalty.
Mozyr. Activists of NGOs discussed the issue of the death penalty. On October 5, a meeting of activists of a number of regional NGOs took place. According to human rights activist Uladzimir Tseliapun, participants of the meeting in Mozyr, having views on the death penalty in Belarus, came to the conclusion - the first step should be a moratorium on the death penalty. The activists discussed methods of information campaigns on the issue of the death penalty and the legal education of the population to protect their social rights.
"We need to conduct educational and informational work. Our society should be prepared to take this step – morally, culturally, spiritually, economically and politically. Unfortunately, nothing is being done in this regard by the government – the topic of the death penalty is not discussed in public and conveying an alternative viewpoint through the state media is a taboo," commented the human rights activist.
At the end of the discussion, social activists got music CDs and booklets on the subject of the death penalty.
Maladechna. Octiber 5, a round table within the framework of the campaign "Human Rights Defenders Against the Death Penalty" was held with the participation of representatives of human rights organizations (Human Rights Centre "Viasna", Belarusian Helsinki Committee) organizations, democratic parties and public associations of the city. After watching topical videos, its participants discussed various aspects of the death penalty: why bodies of the executed aren't issued to their relatives, which penalty is more effective – life imprisonment or capital punishment, etc. All present people agreed that the death penalty in Belarus shall be abolished and the relatives of the executed have the right to a more human attitude to themselves.
Rechytsa. On Sunday, October 5, there was held a public viewing of the film “Cause of Death Left Blank”, organized by the Rechyta branch of the HRC "Viasna". The viewing and the subsequent discussion of the topic of the death penalty were attended by local activists of the Belarusian Popular Front, “Tell The Truth” and the United Civil Party.