Death convict’s mother asks President to change law that prohibits returning bodies to families

2014 2014-12-23T16:02:27+0300 2014-12-23T16:02:27+0300 en The Human Rights Center “Viasna” The Human Rights Center “Viasna”
The Human Rights Center “Viasna”
A prison uniform - all that’s left of Aliaksandr Hrunou

A prison uniform - all that’s left of Aliaksandr Hrunou

Volha Hrunova, the mother of Aliaksandr Hrunou, who was executed for the brutal murder of a student in Homel, petitions the President, both Houses of Parliament, the Supreme Court and the Government asking the officials to propose the Constitutional Court to amend the Criminal Executive Code, which prohibits returning the body of the executed person and disclosing the places of their burial.

“I directly asked the Constitutional Court about it, but the Court forwarded my petition to the authorized entities listed in Article 116 of the Constitution. At the same time, with the help of human rights activist Leanid Sudalenka, I started litigation at the trial court, aiming to foster changes in this regard. Now we are going through the court of cassation, then we will raise this issue at the international level through a complaint to the UN Human Rights Committee,” says Volha Hrunova.

The woman says that the secrecy surrounding executions and burial sites, bans on issuing the body for burial are inherently intimidating and punishing their families by intentionally leaving them in a state of uncertainty and mental distress.

The UN Human Rights Committee has repeatedly dealt with complaints of Belarusian citizens asking to return the bodies to the relatives of executed prisoners. In cases 886/1999 Bandarenka vs. Belarus, 887/1999 Liashkevich vs. Belarus, 2120/2011 Liubou Kavaliova and Tatsiana Koziar vs. Belarus, Belarus was ordered to inform relatives of the executed persons on their burial places and to prevent similar violations in the future.