- Update info:
- 15 Jan 2014
- REPUBLIC OF BELARUS
- Eduard Lykau
- 19 Feb 2014
- Distribution date:
- 15 Jan 2014
- UA No:
A 53 year-old man, Eduard Lykau, was sentenced to death on 26 November, but the information was only released almost a month later. He was the fourth person to receive the death sentence in 2013.
Eduard Lykau was sentenced to death by Minsk Regional court for five murders committed in 2002, 2004 and 2011. He was detained in September 2011 following the fifth murder in the village of Zhdanovichi, close to Minsk. He was sentenced on 26 November, but the information was only released on 20 December. According to official sources he is homeless and has already served several prison sentences for theft, hooliganism and non-payment of child support. In an interview published in the official government newspaper, Sovetskaya Belorussia, a representative of the State Investigation Bureau said that another man, the son of one of the victims, had been sentenced to life for the murder of two people in 2002 and had served seven years of his sentence before being released when Eduard Lykau confessed to the murder in 2011.
Belarus is the last country in Europe still carrying out executions: in 2012 it executed three men. Four death sentences, including Eduard Lykau’s, were pronounced in 2013: Rygor Yuzepchuk was sentenced on 24 April, Pavel Selyun on 12 June and Alyaksandr Haryunou was sentenced to death by a court in the city of Homel on 14 June. On 22 October, the Supreme Court of the Republic of Belarus overturned the death sentence passed by the Homel Regional Court against Alyaksandr Harunou and returned the case for reconsideration to the court of first instance, but on 24 December the regional court again sentenced him to death.
Amnesty International opposes the death penalty in all cases without exception. It violates the right to life, as proclaimed in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. It is the ultimate cruel, inhuman and degrading punishment.
In Belarus, death sentences are often imposed after unfair trials which include forced confessions; they are implemented in strict secrecy and without giving adequate notice to the inmates themselves, their families or legal representatives. The authorities refuse to return the bodies of those executed to their relatives or even tell them where they are buried; and executions are carried out despite requests from the UN Human Rights Committee to the government not to carry out the executions. The Human Rights Committee and others have found that the application of the death penalty in Belarus violates the human rights of those convicted and their families.
Furthermore, by failing to publish full information about the use of the death penalty including comprehensive statistics about the number of death sentences passed and executions carried out the authorities prevent informed public debate about the issue and hamper the movement towards abolition. The taking of a human life by the state is one of the cruellest acts a government can commit, and it is therefore extremely important that such a severe punishment should be subject to public focus and discussion.
Name: Eduard Lykau
Gender m/f: m
UA: 6/14 Index: EUR 49/001/2014 Issue Date: 8 January 2014
Please write immediately in Belarusian, Russian, English or your own language:
- Urging President Lukashenka to commute immediately the death sentence of Eduard Lykau and all other death sentences in Belarus;
- Calling on him to establish an immediate moratorium on the use of the death penalty;
- Urging him to ensure that full current information about the use of the death penalty in Belarus is publicly available.
PLEASE SEND APPEALS BEFORE 19 FEBRUARY 2014 TO:
ul. Karla Marxa 38
220016 Minsk, Belarus
Fax: +375 17 226 0610, +375 17 222 3872
Salutation: Dear President Lukashenka
And copies to:
ul. Internatsionalnaya 22
220050 Minsk, Belarus
Fax: +375 17 226 42 52 (Say "fax" clearly if voice answers)
Salutation: Dear General Prosecutor
Also send copies to diplomatic representatives accredited to your country.
Please check with your section office if sending appeals after the above date.