Amnesty International asks to commute death sentence handed down to Ivan Kulesh
A 28-year-old man, Ivan Kulesh, was sentenced to death in Belarus on 20 November. He is at least the second person to receive the death sentence in 2015.
On 20 November the Hrodna Regional Court, in western Belarus, sentenced Ivan Kulesh to death for “committing murder with particular cruelty”, theft and robbery under articles 139, 205, 207 of the Criminal Code of the Republic of Belarus. Ivan Kulesh was found guilty of murdering three female sales assistants, two in September 2013 and one in November 2014, and of stealing goods and money from the shops where these women worked. He was
also found guilty of the attempted murder of the son of a saleswoman, who caught him in the shop in November 2014. Ivan Kulesh had been under the influence of alcohol when committing these crimes. According to the forensic medical examination Ivan Kulesh was diagnosed with an antisocial personality disorder, but was found “sane” (“vmenyaemyi”). Ivan Kulesh was raised in an orphanage and has a two-year old daughter.
Ivan Kulesh was detained in November 2014 and has been held in the Hrodna regional pre-trial detention facility. He will now be transferred to a pre-trial detention facility in Minsk, where executions take place. He has until 30 November to appeal the decision.
His lawyer asked the court to sentence Ivan Kulesh to 25 years' imprisonment, taking into account that Ivan Kulesh signed a confession and cooperated with the investigation. Ivan Kulesh previously was convicted for theft, robbery and providing misleading information to the investigation. Belarus is the last country in Europe and Central Asia still applying the death penalty.
Amnesty International opposes the death penalty in all cases without exception. It violates the right to life, as proclaimed in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. It is the ultimate cruel, inhuman and degrading punishment.
Please write immediately in Belarusian, Russian, English or your own language:
- Urging President Lukashenka to halt any planned executions and immediately commute the death sentence
handed down to Ivan Kulesh and all others sentenced to death in Belarus;
- Calling on him to establish an immediate moratorium on the use of the death penalty with a view to abolishing it;
- Stress that whilst we are not seeking to downplay the seriousness of the crime of which Ivan Kulesh has been
convicted, research shows that death penalty does not deter crime whilst it is also the ultimate denial of human
PLEASE SEND APPEALS BEFORE 5 JANUARY 2016 TO:
President Alyaksandr Lukashenka
Vul. Karla Marksa 38
220016 Minsk, Belarus
Fax: +375 17 226 06 10
+375 17 222 38 72
Salutation: Dear President Lukashenka
And copies to:
Prosecutor General Alyaksandr Kaniuk
Vul. Internatsianalnaya 22
220050 Minsk, Belarus
Fax: +375 17 226 42 52 (Say "fax" clearly if voice answers)