FIDH asks Belarus to allow Viasna attend pardon hearing in death penalty case
The International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) has written to the Belarusian authorities urging them to allow Valiantsin Stefanovich, Viasna human rights defender and FIDH vice-president, to attend the hearing of the petition for pardon filed with the presidential commission in the case of the death row prisoners Kostseu brothers.
The petition was filed after on May 22 the Supreme Court turned down the brothers’ appeal and the death sentence became final.
FIDH stresses that Stefanovich should be allowed to speak at the hearing as such a right is provided by the commission’s rules of procedure.
“We would like to have an opportunity to present FIDH’s opinion on the issue of the pardon of the Kostseu brothers to the Commission in person, and we hope that this opinion will be taken into account in deciding on the merits of the application,” says the appeal signed by FIDH President Alice Mogwe.
Illya and Stanislau Kostseu were sentenced to death on January 10 after the Mahilioŭ Regional Court found them guilty of killing their former schoolteacher.
During his 26 years in power, Aliaksandr Lukashenka has pardoned only one person sentenced to death.