Death sentences in Belarus

November 30th, 2011   Articles | Belarus

Dzmitry Kanavalau and Uladzislau Kavaliou has by the Belarusian Supreme Court been sentenced to death for the bombings in the Minsk subway that killed 15 people on April 11 this year. Dzmitry Kanavalau and Uladzislau Kavaliou are not affiliated with the Belarus political opposition and the witch hunt of the opposition that many feared would be a result of the bombing, has not been realized.

The Belarusian human rights organization Viasna (whose leader recently was sentenced to several years imprisonment) condemns the death penalty as such and believes that the investigation into the explosion in Minsk subway, as well as the trial of Dzmitry Kanavalau and Uladzislau Kavaliou, was neither professional nor convincing:

“Observers report serious procedural violations during the preliminary investigation and the judicial examination. The defendants’ right to legal protection has been gravely restricted. The defendants’ reports of physical and psychological pressure during the preliminary investigation failed to be properly examined. Numerous motions by the defense lawyers, aimed at clearing up the irregularities and contradictions of the presented evidence, were groundlessly dismissed.”

Viasna explains on its website that during the trial a number of victims have expressed doubt that Dzmitry Kanavalau and Uladzislau Kavaliou have been involved in terrorist attacks.

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