Execution of Zhuk and Yuzepchuk direct insult to UN HR Committee, says expert

The UN Human Rights Committee released a statement on the recent execution of Andrei Zhuk and Vasil Yzepchuk, saying that ‘the Belarusian Government had flagrantly violated its obligations under the Optional Protocol.’

Ms. Chanet, the Committee’s Special Rapporteur on new communications and interim measures, said that the Committee had asked the Government of Belarus not to execute the men while it reviewed the cases. In September and November, Belarus had asked the Committee to remove the stay request.  Ms. Chanet had denied that request, telling the Government that the Committee planed to carry out its review.

‘Yet, Amnesty International had informed the Committee that relatives of the prisoners reported that the two men had been executed last week,’ says the Rapporteur.

Ms. Chanet also said ‘the Committee had sent a letter to Belarus demanding clarification by this past Thursday’ and ‘received no response.’

Krister Thelin, expert from Sweden, stressed that ‘the Committee’s response must receive the widest possible dissemination.’  ‘This is a blatant disregard of the State party’s obligations […] and a direct insult to the Committee,’ he declared.    

According to human rights activist Raman Kisliak, who had assisted the families of the death convicts in submitting complaints to the Committee, this is outrageous. ‘In fact, the Republic of Belarus defied the UN Human Rights Committee and the international community in terms of commitment to its obligations. There will be a reaction by the international community to the state’s actions,’ says the lawyer.

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Death verdics in Belarus since 1990