Picks of the week
Amnesty International has joined the wave of outrage on the part of the international community following another secret execution in Belarus.
Amnesty International condemned the reported execution of death row prisoner Aliaksandr Zhylnikau, whose family were not notified of the scheduled execution and will likely not receive official information of his execution for some time to come. It is also expected that his body will not be returned to them for burial nor the location of his burial site be disclosed.
“On the eve of hosting the European Games in Minsk, the Belarusian authorities have once again flaunted their total disregard for human rights and regional and global trends towards abolition of the ultimate cruel, inhuman and degrading punishment,” said Marie Struthers, Director of Amnesty International’s Eastern Europe and Central Asia Regional Office.
Belarus is among the worst offenders of workers’ rights, according to a report by the International Trade Union Confederation.
“The authorities maintained their repression of independent unions, prosecuting and sentencing trade union leaders on trumped-up charges,” said the document.
The report also stresses that “many unions in all regions faced difficulties in registering.”
The Belarusian authorities have reversed the entry ban earlier reported by two members of the Pussy Riot protest group.
Olga Kurachova and Veronika Nikulshina, who were detained on June 17 during a stopover at the Minsk airport, say they received a phone call from a high-ranking official who apologized for the initial decision.