22 July 2019, Monday, 22:15
We are in the same boat

Andrei Sannikov: Several People Have Already Been Convicted And Executed Wrongly In Belarus


Europe turns a blind eye to what is happening in Belarus on the eve of the second European Games.

Wednesday, June 13, the Belarusian Human Rights Centre Viasna reported on the execution of the next death sentence.

The coordinator of the campaign Human Rights Defenders Against the Death Penalty in Belarus, Andrei Polud, was informed about it by relatives of Aliaksandr Zhylnikau, sentenced to death for the murder of three people, the statement of Viasna, released on June 13, says, as RFI writes.

The fate of the second defendant in the same case, Viachaslau Sukharko, is unknown. Usually relatives of those sentenced to the capital punishment are not informed about the shooting and are not given the right to the last visit before the execution. The bodies of those executed are not given to the family for burial, and the place of their burial is not reported.

Zhylnikau and Sukharko were sentenced to death for the murder of a man and a woman in December 2015. The assassination attempt was ordered by a former friend of the victim. After Sukharko and Zhylnikau were detained, it became known that they were involved in another murder.

Belarus is the only country in the CIS and Europe, where the death penalty is officially allowed, for which it is condemned by all international organizations.

Nevertheless, the Belarusian oppositionist, politician and public figure, coordinator of the civil campaign European Belarus Andrei Sannikov believes that Europe is turning a blind eye to what is happening in Belarus on the eve of the second European Games, which will be held in Minsk from June 21 to 30.

- This is a political gesture of Lukashenka, who wanted to show before the games that he still controlled the situation. I believe that all those who made the decision to hold these odd European games in Belarus - while having experience of the same games in Azerbaijan, which did not help, but only worsened the human rights situation - are now involved in the murder of two people in Belarus. (...) "You are accomplices, including France," Lukashenka says to Europeans. - You encourage such a policy." It would be logical, after such an impudent, insolent, gesture, to cancel the participation in the games.

- What is the attitude of Belarusian society to the death penalty?

- It is not informed, and it addresses the issue in the way that propaganda channels broadcast it. (...) It is impossible to know the opinions of the majority, as public opinion polls (independent ones - note) are impossible in Belarus. In no case should a referendum on the death penalty be held.

- Especially since his results could be forged.

-I remember several people who were convicted and executed wrongly. For example, the terrorist attack in Minsk subway - more and more information suggests that the perpetrators were not those who were executed, not Kavaliou and Kanavalau. In order to save the political fate of Lukashenka and his regime, two young guys were simply killed - impudently, cynically, in full view of everyone, without proving in any way their guilt in the explosion in Minsk subway.