News for 4 Feb 2016

04.02.2016 Netherlands

During a considerable period of its existence the Netherlands were under the influence of Spain, where the death penalty was widely used. However, in the 16th century the Dutch began the fight for independence, and in 1549 launched the creation of the Dutch Republic, which lasted almost until the occupation of the territory by the French troops in 1895.

04.02.2016 International cooperation

The efforts of Belarusian human rights defenders for the abolition of the death penalty are supported by the governments of the European countries, foreign and international human rights organizations. In the present conditions our international partners often play the role of mediators in making claims to the Belarusian authorities.

04.02.2016 Work with state bodies

Violation of human rights is always based on the actions or omissions of the authorities. The same concerns the restoration of justice – it is also possible only through the efforts of the state. In other words, if a person is sentenced to death by the state, only the state can cancel this decision – either on it's own political will or under pressure from human rights defenders and the international community.

04.02.2016 Informing the public

According to a sociological survey, nearly 33% of our citizens do not know that the death penalty is applied in Belarus. During the work on this issue, we conducted dozens of activities aimed at informing people about this issue.

04.02.2016 Our Actions against the Death Penalty

Experience of many countries of the world shows that the more citizens learn about the use of the death penalty, the less public support this measure of punishment has. Our task is not only the abolition of the death penalty by a political decision, but also achieving a clearly negative public attitude to this method of justice.

04.02.2016 Mexico

The history of the death penalty in Mexico has a very old and deep roots. The jurisprudence of the Aztec state had the death penalty and the forms were terrible in their diversity, ranging from decapitation and dismemberment to stoning and hanging. Also, in the era of the Aztecs human lives used to be sacrificed to the gods (often these were prisoners).

04.02.2016 Mikhail Hladki's case

March 13, 2003 was sentenced to 8 years in a high-security penal colony under part 1 of Art. 139 (murder) by the Zaslaŭje Town Court, presided by Judge I. Buyakevich, with lay judges H. Tsikhanovich and R. Valchankova, prosecutor A. Badziulia and lawyer I. Rynkevich.

04.02.2016 Ryhor Yazepchuk's case

Sentenced to death by the Mahilioŭ Regional Court on April 23, 2013.

04.02.2016 Vasil Yuzepchuk's case

Was sentenced to death by the Brest Regional Court on June 29, 2009.

04.02.2016 A. Burdyka and A. Hryshkautsou's case

Sentenced to death by the Hrodna Regional Court on May 14, 2010.

04.02.2016 Andrei Zhuk's case

Sentenced to death on July 17, 2009 by the Minsk Regional Court.

04.02.2016 Aliaksandr Hrunou's case

June 14, 2013 the Homieĺ Regional Court sentenced Aliaksandr Hrunovu to the exceptional measure of punishment – execution by shooting.

04.02.2016 Viciebsk (Mikhasevich's) case

May 19, 1987, Judicial board on criminal cases of the Supreme Court of the USSR, presided by Judge Fedor Savkin, with state prosecutors – Senior Assistant Attorney General of the USSR Sergei Samoilov and assistant prosecutor of the Minsk region Uladzimir Panfiliuk, found Henadz Mikhasevich guilty of murder of 36 women on the territory of the Vicitebsk region in 1971-1985. Some of the women were also raped. Mikhasevich was sentenced to death and didn't appeal the sentence. He was executed on January 19, 1988.

04.02.2016 Vatican

Since the Vatican was a part of Rome, the practice of the death penalty was spread on it both during the Inquisition, and in the period of its decline. Like everywhere in Italy, the death penalty was executed by secular authorities, and used to be approved by the Holy See since its inception. There are many works of religious leaders, starting with Aurelius Augustine "The City of God" (written in 413-427), that approved of the imposition and execution of death sentences by secular authorities.

UN Human Rights Committee registers complaint by freelance journalist Ales Burakou

04.02.2016 UN Human Rights Committee registers complaint by freelance journalist Ales Burakou

The United Nations Human Rights Committee has registered a complaint submitted by Ales Burakou, a freelance journalist working with a number of media in Mahilioŭ. However, according to the journalist, the envelope had been apparently opened by unknown persons before it reached him.

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