Amnesty International: Belarus’ last prisoner on death row at risk
Siarhei Vostrykau is the last known prisoner on death row in Belarus after the authorities executed the other remaining three prisoners on death row on 5 November. Siarhei Vostrykau is at imminent risk of execution, Amnesty International said.
Siarhei Vostrykau, (aged 33) was sentenced to death on 19 May, having been found guilty of two separate cases of rape and murder. The Supreme Court of Belarus upheld his death sentence on 4 October. Siarhei Vostrykau was accused of killing two of his female colleagues, the first in July 2014 and the second in July 2015.
In Belarus, no warning is given about the time or date of execution. The families of Ivan Kulesh, Siarhey Khmialeuski and Henadz Yakavitski have only been informed of their executions in the past few days – weeks after the actual executions took place. In accordance with Belarusian law, the bodies of their loved ones will not be returned to them for burial, nor will the location of the burial site be disclosed.
Belarus is the only country in Europe and Central Asia which continues to use the death penalty.
Amnesty International opposes the death penalty in all cases without exception. It violates the right to life, as proclaimed in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. It is the ultimate cruel, inhuman and degrading punishment.
Please write immediately in Belarusian, Russian or your own language:
- Urging President Lukashenka to halt the execution of Siarhei Vostrykau and immediately commute his death sentence;
- Calling on President Lukashenka to establish an immediate moratorium on executions with a view to abolishing the death penalty;
- Stress that whilst we are not seeking to downplay the seriousness of the crime, research shows that the death penalty does not deter crime more than other forms of imprisonment and is the ultimate denial of human rights.