UNHRC to examine alleged violations in the trial over the Minsk bombing


As reported here, two young men were convicted of the Minsk metro bombing in April 2011 and sentenced to death by the Belarusian Supreme Court.  Grave doubts about the case have been expressed by many human rights organizations, including the Viasna Human Rights Centre and Amnesty International.

On 15 December the UN Human Rights Committee registered an individual report of a violation of the right to life and right to a fair trial by Lyubov Kovalyova [Liubou Kavalyova from the Belarusian], one of the men’s mothers. The case is registered under No. 2120/2011.

A note has been sent to the Belarusian authorities asking that they do not carry out the death penalty before the case has been considered.

The Viasna Human Rights Centre stated earlier that according to the reports by defence lawyers, human rights defenders, and many others, the investigation into the Minsk metro explosion, as well as the entire trial of Dzmitry Kanavalau and Uladzislau Kavaliou, was neither professional nor convincing..

Observers report serious procedural violations during the pre-trial investigation and the court examination. The defendants’ right to legal defence was seriously restricted, and the young men’s allegations of physical and psychological pressure during the pre-trial investigation were never properly examined. Numerous motions by the defence lawyers, aimed at clearing up the irregularities and contradictions of the presented evidence, were groundlessly dismissed.

During the trial, a number of victims expressed their doubt as to Dzmitry Kanavalau and Uladzislau Kavaliou’s involvement in the terrorist act. Tens of thousands of Belarusians have signed the petition asking that the defendants in the case not face the death penalty.

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