Picks of the Week

Europe's Last Executioner is the name of a multimedia exhibition that opened in London last week to display drawings commissioned by Amnesty International from award-winning reportage artist and illustrator George Butler. The drawings are the result of Butler’s visit to Belarus in July 2018. The exhibition also features works by Belarusian photojournalist Siarhei Balai. He photographed mothers of executed prisoners.

George Butler's drawing of Minsk Pretrial Detention Centre No.1, where convicts are held on death row
George Butler's drawing of Minsk Pretrial Detention Centre No.1, where convicts are held on death row

Political prisoner Mikhail Zhamchuzhny is not likely to be released early, as this year’s amnesty does not apply to him, human rights defender Leanid Svetsik told palitviazni.info.

“The amnesty does not apply to him, since he has had too many penalties over the past year,” the activist said.

Mikhail Zhamchuzhny is the only person currently serving his sentence on politically motivated grounds, according to Belarusian human rights defenders. The activists say they had certain hopes that he could be released before the European Games, but nothing happened and the prisoner will have to remain in prison until 2021.

Mikhail Zhamchuzhny
Mikhail Zhamchuzhny

A group of believers representing the Belarusian Uniate Church will not be able to arrange a pilgrimage from Viciebsk to Polack after the organizers were charged some 3,000 rubles (USD 1,500) for policing the event. As a result, the procession scheduled for July 9 was called off at the last moment.

According to one of the organizers, Zmitser Hryshan, rector of the parish of the Resurrection, the pilgrimage was canceled because the religious community is not eligible to enjoy simplified procedures, since it is not registered as a nation-wide church.

“We got permission for this pilgrimage, but were asked to pay for it. Then we said that we did not need any security guards. And they said we could not do this. We don’t have the money. We just can’t afford it,” the priest said.




Death verdics in Belarus since 1990