Amnesty International urges Belarus to stop execution of Kostseu brothers
Amnesty International has launched an urgent action asking its members worldwide to write to the Belarusian authorities and to request a commutation of the death sentences handed down to the Kostseu brothers.
On 22 May, the Supreme Court of Belarus upheld the death sentences of young brothers Stanislau and Illia Kostseu, aged 19 and 21 respectively. They have appealed to President Lukashenka for clemency. The President has granted clemency only once since coming to power in 1994. If clemency is denied, Stanislau and Illia Kostseu will be executed imminently.
"There is no doubt that the murder, for which they were convicted, is a serious crime. They have both expressed their deep regret and cooperated fully with the criminal investigation. Stanislau and Illia Kostseu are the youngest prisoners to be sentenced to death in Belarus for over ten years and their execution would be a terrible stain on Belarus’ record. I urge you to take into account their young age, and the plea from their mother and sister who raised them after their father died, when deciding their fate," the appeal reads.
Amnesty suggests that with international attention currently on Belarus, granting clemency to Stanislau and Illia Kostseu would be a "clear signal of Belarus’ meaningful intention to end this practice."
"It would also give these very young men the opportunity to turn their troubled lives around and show that rehabilitation and reform is possible. Please make this an historic moment for Belarus and its future," it said.