PACE: last-ditch appeal for clemency for Dmitry Konovalov and Vladislav Kovalev
Strasbourg, 15.03.2012 - Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly (PACE) President Jean-Claude Mignon and the rapporteurs on Belarus, Andres Herkel (Estonia, EPP/CD) and Marieluise Beck (Germany, ALDE), and on the death penalty, Renate Wohlwend (Liechtenstein, EPP/CD) today jointly launched a solemn appeal to the Belarusian authorities not to execute Dmitry Konovalov and Vladislav Kovalev, the two young men sentenced to death in connection with the Metro bombing in Minsk in 2011.
"We are extremely concerned that, after the announcement that President Lukashenko refused to pardon the two young men, the irreparable act may be committed at any time. In view both of our principled rejection of the death penalty and of the numerous questions regarding the fairness of their trial, we solemnly appeal to the Belarusian authorities to refrain from executing Mr Konovalov and Mr Kovalev, " they stated.
On 30 November 2011, the PACE rapporteurs Andres Herkel and Renate Wohlwend expressed dismay at the death sentence and said it was outrageous that Belarus continued to “blatantly ignore the international community’s calls for a moratorium on the death penalty”.
On 25 January last, in Resolution 1857 on the situation in Belarus, the Assembly, meeting in plenary session, deplored an investigation and trial “marred by serious human rights abuses”. Also during the session Lyuba Kavaliova, mother of one of those condemned, addressed PACE’s Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights at the invitation of Marieluise Beck, rapporteur for opinion.
PACE President on 27 January expressed “serious doubts” over the convictions and appealed against their executions.