Demand to end the death penalty in Belarus!
On November 30, 2011, the Supreme Court in Minsk (Belarus) will proclaim their sentence in the law case of the two supposed terrorists Dimitri Konovalov and Vladislav Kovalev (both aged 25).
The proclamation of sentence takes place at a time in which the Belarusian democratic opposition faces severe repressions from the side of the Lukashenko government. Repressions which the government is trying to justify over and over again in obscure and shady ways.
The two young men are accused of having plotted a terrorist attack in the underground station ‘Oktjabrskaja’ in Minsk. On April 11, 2011, 15 people were killed in an explosion. Over 200 people were injured. In the course of the investigation, they were also accused of having planned two further bombings in Minsk, one of them in 2008 and the other in 2005.
The Attorney General Alexei Styl demands the maximum penalty as a result of the investigation: death penalty.
Belarus is the only country in Europe that still proclaims and executes death penalty.
The first day of trial took place on September 15 in Minsk. During the hearing, no evidence against Konovalov and Kovalev was presented. On the contrary, the trial raised more questions instead of providing answers. The only evidence that was present were confessions of the defendants, which, according to them, were given under pressure from the KGB and have been withdrawn by now.
A lot of political prisoners have openly talked about torture in Belarusian prisons as a means to get confessions. The Belarusian judiciary system has been internationally criticized for the use of torture, official arbitrariness, faking of evidence and perversion of justice.
Kovalev said, that he heard Konovalov screaming during the first questioning. He pointed out, that they were often questioned without somebody taking written records. Subsequently, they were forced to sign ready-made record documents.
The lawyer of Konovalov pointed out, that the person on the CCTV video from the underground station had no resemblance with his client and that the state attorneys found no traces of explosives on the fabric of his client’s clothes. Furthermore, he stated that it was easy to tell that the video had been manipulated.
In Belarus, the trial is staged as a show trial. Nevertheless, big parts of the population still do not believe the two men to be guilty and demand a transparent and fair trial and investigation. At the moment, there is an ongoing petition against the expected death penalty sentence for Kovalev and Konovalov:
For further information contact amnesty international, the offices of the members of the German and European parliaments, that deal with the situation in Belarus, such as Marieluise Beck.
V.i.S.P Eva Quistorp, tel: 030. 3239543