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Belarus executes two death-row convicts


Belarus has recently carried out two death sentence executions. This information was made public accidentally during the hearing in the Supreme Court of the appeal filed by two other death-row convicts - Alikasandr Zhylnikau and Viachaslau Sukharka (they were sentenced to capital punishment for a murder of three people). reports Sukharka said during the hearing that he had spent four months in a death-row cell. "On the evening of 16 May, they took Mikhalenya and Letau from the cell," he said.

In Belarus, the government never reveals the date of the execution or releases the bodies. Only relatives that are in contact with human rights defenders usually can provide some information.

Aliaksei Mikhalenya was 33 years old. In March 2011, the resident of Naroula was sentenced to death for premediated aggravated murder of two persons. Mikhalenya who had previously been convicted for murder stated that he came to pensioners to ask for scissors and that he was allegedly assaulted by the 61-year old host. He killed the man and his 59-year-old sister.

Viktar Letau was 31. Last year, he committed a murder while in a correctional colony. He hit a man at least 60 times with a sharp obkect. By that time, he had been twice convicted for murders. The death penalty ruling was pronounced in September 2017.

Belarus is the only country in Europe, which applies death penalty. International human rights organizations and European bodies repeatedly called on Belarus to introduce a moratorium on or abolish the capital punishment.