Another person sentenced to death in Belarus

Belarusian human rights defenders learned that one of the courts in Belarus issued another death penalty. The decision was made on 26 November 2013 in relation to 53-year-old citizen, who was accused of five cases of murder while intoxicated. The convicted has been under investigation since 2011 and during that time he had changed three lawyers.

It is known that he had no permanent place of residence, and had no contact with his children. The convicted Eduard Lykov was born in Russia, but is a citizen of the Republic of Belarus.
Coordinator of the campaign "Human Rights Defenders against the death penalty in Belarus" Andrei Poluda noted that this case demonstrates once again that the government hides from the public the facts of death sentences and executions: "Officials often say that in Belarus only few people are executed, but if there is no public information about who was sentenced to death, if this information is hidden from the public by the authorities, then it is difficult to appeal to the figures of how many people actually had been executed in Belarus in the name of the state."

Human rights defenders in their campaign against the death penalty will be monitoring this situation closely. if necessary, they are ready to provide to the accused the legal assistance with an appeal of the trial court and with an appeal to the Human Rights Committee of the United Nations.

Meanwhile, the president of Belarus Aliaksandr Lukashenka in recent times publicly called for the death penalty in the country. "If you are scum and a bastard, if you go and commit crime again and again, if you kill a person, then what right do you have to live on this earth?" - said Lukashenka recently.

​​Belarus is the last country in the European area where the death penalty is still practiced. In Belarus, the death sentence is to be executed by a special squad of MIA in Minsk jail №1 by shooting. As in Soviet times, the date and time of execution is not reported, and the body is not given to the relatives, the place of burial is not disclosed.

The atmosphere of secrecy regarding the issues of death penalty in the country should be noted. Representatives of "Human rights defenders against the death penalty in Belarus" campaign, which is working since 2009, known only the amount of passed and executed death penalties.Thus, since 1990 in Belarus 329 people were sentenced to death. Of these, 281 sentence was passed between 1990 and 1999. After 1999 there is a trend to a sharp decrease in the number of convictions.  Thus, from 2000 to 2013 50 death sentences were issued. This fact is primarily associated with the appearance in 1998 in the Criminal Code of Belarus an alternative punishment to the death penalty - life imprisonment.

Source: http://humanrightshouse.org/Articles/19890.html#.UsX_jxfSCOM

News of Belarus

Belarus prisoner release: Same old trick

Good news from Belarus is rare, but last weekend president Alexander Lukashenko pardoned six political prisoners.

For the pardoned, all serving multi-year prison terms for challenging Belarus’ autocracy, this is, to say the least, a relief, and has been welcomed by local democrats and the international community.

Lukashenko has declared his decision an act of “humanity”. But is, in fact, a carefully timed tactical move to sway the European Union at a time of growing domestic and geopolitical pressure.

The question is whether he will succeed this time.

The International Day of Solidarity with Belarus 2015

Seven countries around the world celebrated the International Day of Solidarity with Belarus on August the 4th. Human and civil rights activists, as well as other people who are simply sympathetic with the citizens of Belarus and who share deep concern about their future, took part in online discussions, talked to people on the streets and posted various material in social media in order to raise awareness of countless violations of human rights in Belarus.

Solidarity with civil society in Belarus

4 August is an international day of solidarity with the civil society of Belarus. This day matters, because of the daily pressure against civil society in Belarus.

When a coalition of international civil society organisations, at the initiative of the International Youth Human Rights Movement of Voronezh (Russian Federation), launched the idea of an international solidarity day with civil society in Belarus, the country was coming out of the 2010 presidential election cycle, which symbolically ended with the arrest of the country’s leading human rights defender Ales Bialiatski.

The 4 August is key to Belarus, because of Ales Bialiatski’s arrest on this day in 2011. The day is now a symbol of President Alyaksandr Lukashenka’s repeated practice of arbitrary arrest of voices criticising his way of governing the country.