Judicial board of Homel Regional Court rejects the appeal of a death convict's mother
Judicial board on civil cases of the Homel Regional Court refused to verify the claims of the mother of an executed death convicts, Volha Hrunova to the state, upholding the verdict of the Tsentralny District Court of Homel which refused to institute civil proceedings against the Homel Regional Court and the Department of Corrections, who refuse to disclose the burial place of Aliaksandr Hrunou.
Chairman of the Homel Regional Court Siarhei Shautsou sent Volha Hrunova a refusal to disclose the burial place of her son. In this response the court cited the legal norm of non-issuance of the bodies of the executed contained in Article. 175 of the Criminal Executive Code: "The death penalty is executed by firing squad non-public. The body is not issued for burial, the place of burial is not disclosed."
With the help of human rights defenders Volha Hrunova undertook a strategic litigation aimed at changing both legislation and practice that every time lead to the suffering of parents and relatives of death row prisoners in Belarus.
Human rights activist Leanid Sudalenka whoassists the woman in the litigation is sure that the complete secrecy surrounding the date of execution and place of burial, as well as the refusal to issue the body for burial in accordance with religious beliefs and customs of the family of the executed have the effect of intimidation and punishment by willfully living them in a state of suspense and psychological stress. This, as well as the persistent refusal of the state to inform the mother about the place of burial of her son amounts to inhuman treatment.
"Now we need to go through all the internal remedies available, namely, the supervision appeals to the head of the regional court and the head of the Supreme Court, and then – an appeal to the Human Rights Committee. Let the Government tell the UN why actually “Stalinist legislation” is still used in Belarus,” stated Mr. Sudalenka.
Let us remind, Aliaksandr Hrunou was executed by shootingon October 22, 2014 for a violent murder of a female acquaintance. He managed to register a complaint with the UN Committee on Human Rights, who had publicly spoken about the need to abolish the death penalty. Keeping to its usual practice, the Committee for Human Rights continues to consider the case of Mr. Hrunou regardless of his execution.