A Call for Urgent Action by Amnesty International: Belarus Must Stop Imminent Execution

Amnesty International is concerned that death row prisoner Eduard Lykau is at risk of execution in Belarus. Help Eduard Lykau and Amnesty International by writing a call to the authorities to commute Lykau's death sentence into a term of imprisonment and to abolish the death sentence in Belarus.

Eduard Lykau was convicted and sentenced to death on 26 November 2011 by the 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. Information regarding his death sentence was only released on 20 December 2011. According to official sources he was homeless and had already served several prison sentences for theft, hooliganism and non-payment of child support.

In Belarus, death sentences are implemented in strict secrecy and without giving adequate notice to the prisoners, their families or their legal representatives. Condemned prisoners are given no warning that they are about to be executed; instead they are taken out of their cells, told that their appeal for clemency has been turned down, and then forced to their knees and shot in the back of the head. Their families are only informed days or sometimes weeks after their relative has been executed. The Criminal Executive Code allows the authorities to refuse to return the bodies of those executed to their families or to even inform them of the location of the burial site. In October 2013, the UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Belarus stated: “The way the death penalty is carried out in Belarus amounts to inhuman treatment.”

Do you want to appeal the death sentence in Belarus and do you want to support Eduard Lykau? Please, write in Belarusian, Russian or your own language calling on the authorities to immediately commute Lykau’s death sentece to a term of imprisonment, to abolish the death sentence in Belarus, to publish the information about the use of the death penalty in Belarus publicly, and to give family and lawyers full access to the prisoners and information about their cases.

For more information on this topic and about writing this call, please visit: http://www.amnesty.org/en/library/info/EUR49/010/2014/en

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