Death convict’s mother writes to UN Human Rights Committee
Volha Hrunova, the mother of Aliaksandr Hrunou, who was executed on charges of murder, has submitted an individual complaint to the UN Human Rights Committee. She complains of cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment by the state. The woman has exhausted all the domestic remedies, but was unable to force officials to inform her about the time and place of the funeral of her executed son.
The woman said that she initiated at the national level the issue of checking for compliance of the Criminal Executive Code with Article 25 of the Constitution and Article 7 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, as it prohibits the disclosure of information about the place of burial of executed people in Belarus. Unfortunately, the authorities believe that the refusal to declassify the place of burial does not violate the rights of their families.
“In this regard, I declare that the practice of enforcement of the death penalty, which has developed in the country, has caused and continues to cause me distress and psychological stress. I believe that the secrecy surrounding executions and the burial place of my own son, denying his body for burial have in essence the effect of intimidating or punishment of our family, because we were intentionally left in a state of uncertainty and mental suffering,” says the woman.
Volha Hrunova argues that such an attitude constitutes a violation of paragraph 3 of Article 25 of the Constitution, which states that “no one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment”. She asks the UN Committee to establish the fact of cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment by the state, and to recommend the Government of Belarus to bring the national legislation and practice in this part in accordance with the international treaties of the country.