Swiss abolitionists ask Lukashenka to spare lives of death row prisoners in Belarus
L’ACAT-Suisse, a Switzerland-based human rights organization working to end torture and capital punishment, has sent a petition to President Lukashenka, asking him to commute the death sentences handed down to Aliaksandr Zhylnikau and Viachaslau Sukharko.
Signed by 2,640 activists, the petition also calls to yield to foreign pressure by declaring a moratorium on executions. The action was timed to coincide with the World Day against the Death Penalty, which was celebrated on October 10.
According to the NGO’s coordinator for interventions and legal issues Dominique Joris, copies of the petition were sent to Valery Mitskevich, head of the Presidential Pardon Commission, and the Ambassador of the Republic of Belarus in Switzerland Pavel Matskevich.
On January 20, 2018, the Minsk City Court sentenced Zhylnikau and Sukharko to death on charges of triple murder. On May 29, the Supreme Court left the sentence in place. As a result, both are held on death row awaiting execution.
L’ACAT-Suisse (Action by Christians for the Abolition of Torture) is a human rights organization, whose objective is the elimination of torture and the death penalty worldwide. It also intervenes in cases of arbitrary detention and unfair trials. ACAT-Suisse is affiliated to the umbrella organization FIACAT, the International Federation of ACAT, founded in 1987, which comprises 30 national ACATs.