war crimes in Ukraine

The Tribunal for Putin (T4P) global initiative was set up in response to the all-out war launched by Russia against Ukraine in February 2022.

Liubov Kovalyova: Sentenced to death for telling the truth

“Lukashenko himself has sons, children, grand children. It is absolute horror to live longer than your own child. It is something you would not wish to your enemy”.

The following is a translation of the interview here:

Q: If you had the opportunity to say something to Lukashenko right now, what would you say?

A: You know, I could tell him so much. Of course, firstly, I would like to ask him if it is not too late, if there is still a chance... I understand that it might be difficult to change the decision already... to at least issue a moratorium on the death penalty. We have so many innocent people who were convicted. The number is just horrific. How many innocent people were executed and then, after some time, the truth comes out that these people were not guilty. This is the most horrible thing.

He himself has sons, children, grand children. It is absolute horror to live longer than your own child. It is something you would not wish to your enemy. It is frightening that you can be sentenced to death for telling the truth. Because you made the truth public. They thought they had frightened the boys, they though they would be silent in the Court. They thought everything would happen according to their plan, scenario, written before, with no complications. But then Uladzislau changes his testimony and publicly tells the whole truth. It’s revenge.

I think it’s also revenge against me, because I went to Europe. Though we really did not have any choice: whether he would be silent in the Court or tell the truth -- the outcome would have been the same.

Q: Do you regret that you made such a choice?
A: No, I do not think so. How long can you be afraid for?  Look at Dzmitry's parents: what have they achieved?

Q: Do you feel that the executions might have taken place already?

A: You know, i don't have this feeling yet. I don't feel this horror yet. However, it is of course possible, because after Lukashenko refuses to pardon a person, the execution can take place within an hour. No one is told about this. Even to those who are convicted -- up until they are actually being executed. It is a true horror.

You should understand that with our present judicial system, anyone can be sent to death instead of the boys. Anyone can be forced to confess in anything, it is possible to fabricate any criminal case and to come to the same verdict. You see, it is over 400 people who were convicted to death. Of course, among them were innocent. Unfortunately, we’ve become one of those.


17 March

We learned this morning that Dzmitry Kanavalau (Dmitry Konovalov) and Uladzislau Kavalyou (Vladislav Kovalyov) were executed, probably soon after dictator Lukashenko announced that he would not grant a reprieve. 

There are no grounds for believing that the trial was fair.  


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