End the death penalty in Belarus!

By Heather McGill, Amnesty International’ researcher on Belarus

I met with Colonel Oleg Alkaev in Berlin in October 2008. He had been the Director of remand prison (SIZO)6 No.1 in Minsk between 1996 and 2001. In this capacity he was in charge of a shooting squad of 13 men.He published a book to describe his experience in 2006.
We recorded a video interview with Colonel Oleg Alkaev in 2008. It was a chilling experience to hear him talk about the suffering he had witnessed and the practice of the death penalty.

His words in this video paint a stark picture of state killing in Belarus. Listen to him describe how prisoners did not know they were about to be executed and how mothers of death row inmates went looking for their sons—not knowing they were already dead.

Prisoners on death row in Belarus are told that they will be executed only moments before the sentence is carried out. They are executed by a shot to the back of the head. Sometimes more than one bullet is needed. The suffering and distress that is inflicted on the families of condemned prisoners by the death penalty is amplified by the secrecy that surrounds executions.

This year, we are joining with Belarusian NGO Human Rights Centre “Viasna” in a petition calling on the President of Belarus to end the death penalty in the country. Belarus is the last country in Europe and the former Soviet Union to still carry out executions!

We are collecting as many signatures as we can around the World Day Against the Death Penalty on 10 October, so that Viasna can deliver a powerful message to the Belarusian authorities. The World Day Against the Death Penalty is just around the corner so sign our petition and start spreading the word!

Take action!

Posted in Death Penalty, International Organizations | 10 Comments

  1. kina bibi diop says:

    Please put an end to dealth penalty in belarus.

  2. Talking Tree says:

    I can understand the sentiment behind ending the death penalty but the side of the story you are not telling is the victim’s who have fallen at the hands of those who were on death row… maybe you could tell us their story so that we better understand all of the facts.

  3. heidi fenn says:

    Why on earth are you glorifying this person who inflicted such horrific harm on others!!!!

  4. eherbert says:

    It was certainly not our intention to glorify the fomer executioner. There is very little information about how the death penalty is carried out in Belarus because of the secrecy that the state chooses to surround it with. Oleg Alkaev is an important source of information about how exactly people are shot in Minsk. We believe that the interview will have a chilling effect on the viewer and hopefully make them reconsider their position on the death penalty when they think about the details. We hope they will also consider the effect the death penalty has on those who carry it out.

  5. Mohd. Abdul Saeed Khan says:

    Death penalty must be abolished in all countries of the world. please visit my facebook profile Saeed Khan Falahi. I’m opposing death penalty through my page.

  6. prashanth says:

    its just to execute provided a fair trail is done … never support these murderes they deserve much more than death

  7. The United Nations should create a body that will move from country to country to campaign to abolish the death penlity. Using Total Human Rights as the campaign name, meet the head of every member state to implement the Universal Delcaration of Human Rights.

  8. wambo says:

    please,may all the countries end the death penalty because it’s unhuman and it’s a sin behind GOD because the holy bible says that you mustn’t kill!

  9. Uma discussão interessante é o comentário vale a pena. Eu acho que você deveria escrever mais sobre esse assunto.

  10. Sabina Li says:

    The death penalty is inhumane! I support abolishing the death penalty!

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