Former Head of Minsk Investigative Isolation Ward Speaks about Death Sentence Execution

2004 2004-03-12T10:00:00+0200 1970-01-01T03:00:00+0300 en The Human Rights Center “Viasna” The Human Rights Center “Viasna”
The Human Rights Center “Viasna”

Only five years after the former head of Minsk Investigative Isolation Ward Aleh Alkayew left to Germany Belarusian citizens found out that he was the head of the command that dealt with execution of death penalties in Belarus. All circumstances and the names of the persons who fusillade the convicts are kept in secret. However, Aleh Alkayew is not proud of having occupied such a post and condemns death penalty as inhumane and harmful in all respects.

In his interview he told the RFE/RL correspondent Aleh Hruzdzilovich about the details of execution of death sentences in Belarus.

(Alkayew:) “According to the Criminal Code, a death convict is led to a special room where an officer reads to him the presidential order not to satisfy the plea of mercy in the case if the convict applied for it, or the ruling about non-use of mercy. Then, in some 30 seconds—minute, this man is no more. We make everything to save convicts from extra sufferings. They hope that we will drive them somewhere. In fact, in the neighboring room a sudden shot in the head is made and the doctor registers death. Then the burial is conducted.”

Relatives of the convicts neither receive their bodies, nor are informed about the place of the burial, which causes additional sufferings. Aleh Alkayew is convinced it is inhumane and morally harmful to executors of death sentences.

(Alkayew:) “For us it results in more troubles. We have to conspire when driving out lest anybody understands, guesses or sees anything. It’s quite difficult and reminds of a detective, as if it is not execution of state sentence, but a camorra murder. Everything is made like if we were criminals.”

Mr. Alkayew also said that the most of those who execute death sentences become chronic dipsomaniacs and usually don’t live long enough. The reason is in the terrible stress and absence of the appropriate medical rehabilitation system.

(Alkayew:) “Executors of death sentences suffer grand psychological losses. The issue of rehabilitation is not raised. Only alcohol is left. By the way, the look of the convicts in the time of the penalty execution can’t but evoke compassion.

Aleh Alkayew is sure that the death sentence in Belarus is to be abolished and stands for the urgent moratorium on it till the appropriate law is adopted.

(Alkayew:) “Belarus is not a country where the most evil crimes are committed. My opinion is that the sooner the death penalty is abolished the better, the more that it can’t be of any prophylactic value being secret. Many people still mind that there are no fusillades at all, people are driven somewhere and operated, get their organs taken out, etc.