Belarus Puts Convict To Death In First 2017 Execution

Representatives of the campaign Human Rights Defenders Against the Death Penalty in Belarus learned about the execution of death convict Siarhei Vostrykau, TUT.BY reported on Friday, 5 May. This is the first execution carried out in Belarus in 2017.

The human rights defenders quoted the convict’s mother who reportedly received a notification from the Gomel Regional Court.

Campaign coordinator Andrei Paluda believes that the execution could have taked place between 13 and 29 April. Vostrykau’s mother met her son in prison on 5 April, which was their last meeting.

33-year-old Siarhei Vostrykau was sentenced to death in May 2016. Vostrykau was convicted of two separate counts of rape and murder, in July 2014 and May 2015.

The Supreme Court later upheld the death sentence.

Two more people, Kiryl Kazachok, 39, and Aliaksei Mikhalenia, 32, are still on death row, human rights defenders said.

Belarus is the only country in Europe still applying death penalty. The Council of Europe and other international organizations have many times called on the Belarusian authorities to introduce a moratorium on capital punishment.

Amnesty International Report On Death Penalty In 2016: Global Executions Down, Belarus Executes Four

Since 1990 over 400 people were sentenced to death penalty in Belarus. In 26 years only one person had his death sentence commuted.