Two European MPs demand abolishment of death sentence to Kanavalau and Kavaliou

2012 2012-01-30T16:46:08+0300 1970-01-01T03:00:00+0300 en The Human Rights Center “Viasna” The Human Rights Center “Viasna”
The Human Rights Center “Viasna”

MEPs Laima Andrikiene and Eduard Kukan in their joint statement have deplored the unfair trial of both Dzmitry Kanavalau and Uladzislau Kavaliou and urgently called on President Lukashenka to establish an immediate moratorium of their death penalty. They have stressed the growing urgency for this, as both condemned can be executed now at any moment without warning, after their appeal for clemency had been rejected.

The Belarusian Supreme Court has sentenced Dzmitry Kanavalau and Uladzislau Kavaliou to death, both accused of committing a terrorist act in the Minsk metro on April 11 2011. An explosion killed 15 people and wounded more than 200 others: "I strongly deplore the decision of the Belarusian court which has condemned Dzmitry Kanavalau and Uladzislau Kavaliou to death. The guilt of these two young men has not been proven and even relatives of the victims have serious doubts that Kanavalau and Kavaliou are guilty of committing this crime", said Lithuanian MEP Laima Andrikiene.

The death sentence has caused a large wave of discontent and criticism in the European Union. 

After the meeting with Uladzislau Kavaliou’s mother, Laima Andrikiene said: "The guilt of these young people and their participation in the terrorist act has not been proven."

According to Amnesty International, convicted men and their relatives stressed that both convicts had been tortured (heavily beaten) during interrogation.

"The trial in Minsk and the death sentences of Kanavalau and Kavaliou do not meet international standards and are illegal", highlighted Laima Andrikiene MEP.

Mrs Andrikiene also noted that the EU has a very strong position on the death penalty as an absolutely unacceptable way of punishment for any crime committed. Belarus remains the only country in Europe which has the death penalty and still carries out executions.

According to