Appeal from Mother of one of the young men sentenced to death in Belarus
Liubou Kavalyova, the mother of one of the two men who were convicted of carrying out the Minsk metro bombing in April 2011 and sentenced to death by the Belarusian Supreme Court has appealed to President Lukashenko to spare her son’s life.
She writes that she raised two children, Uladzislau (or, Russified, Vladislav) and a daughter alone. She is certain that her son could not have committed such a heinous crime.
“Without deeming to judge the court’s verdict on my son, I would ask you to recall that there have been cases in Belarus’s history where innocent people were sentenced to death and then, only a few years later, the real criminal was caught”.
She asked for a moratorium to be declared on the death penalty, through this demonstrating that Belarus is a civilized state.
Liubou Kavalyova told journalists that she has only been allowed to see her son once since his arrest.
Please see the Amnesty International statement issued the day of the verdict for information regarding grave doubts as to the fairness of the trial.
Europe: Please Save My Son from the Death Penalty in Belarus
Petition created by: Liubou Kavalyova (Vitebsk, Belarus)
Petitioning: High Representative of the EU for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy (Catherine Ashton)
On November 30th the Supreme Court of Belarus sentenced my son Uladzislau Kavalyou (Vladislav Kovalev) and another young man Dzmitry Kanavalau (Dmitry Konovalov) to death.
Kanavalau was convicted of organizing the terrorist attacks in 2005 in Vitebsk, in 2008 in Minsk, and in the subway of Minsk in April 2011. My son Uladzislau was convicted of aiding him.
The accusations are based on the statements made by these two young men, which, as many believe, were given under physical and emotional duress. None of what has been said in court is supported by any evidence. My son insists he was not involved in the terrorist attacks and suggested Dzmitry Kanavalau had no relation to them, either.
I believe that my son is innocent.
So do victims of the attack and many international human rights organizations:
- The victims of the attack have a number of questions regarding the impartiality and transparency of the trial and access to the case materials. Aliaksandr Kruty, a representative of one of the injured from the April attack, Inesa Krutaya, made a motion to abolish the death penalty and asked the court to defer consideration of the case. A few days later – on September 20th – he was arrested and sent to a mental hospital allegedly for hooliganism. None of their motions were considered by the court.
- The defendants claimed that they were exposed to torture during the investigation to extract confessions.
- During the trial, independent journalists were banned from communicating with victims. The official media already referred to Kavalyou and Kanavalau as terrorists without awaiting the decision of the court.
With this petition, I am turning to you asking one single thing: I am asking you to not let them kill my son Uladzislau Kavalyou and Dzmitry Kanavalau, but instead to find those who are actually responsible for these terrorist crimes.
At the moment Belarus is the only country in Europe which continues to carry out death sentences. And while these two men await execution, those who are responsible for the attacks walk freely.
Reports and Statements of Human Rights Groups:
Sign the petition here.