Archive for October, 2009

Life, I Love You!

Interesting to follow the efforts of Europe (EU, CoE) to prevent the execution of two Belarusians. They were sentenced to death for alleged murders.

Usually Minsk and Brussels discuss free speech and freedom of assembly, now it’s time for the right to life. Now Europe is on the mission to save the murderers.

Actually Belarusian authorities consider the right to life and human dignity to be the most important. And with life everything is more or less clear: according to Amnesty International annually 1-3 people are convicted to death in Belarus. With the right you can never be sure: Belarusian Themis and her woman’s reason is sometimes difficult to follow.

For instance Vasil Yuzepchuk, who has two previous convictions, allegedly strangled six old women while his accomplice was holding them. Five of the victims were more than 70 old. He was also found guilty of assault and robbery and got capital sentence.

Yuzepchuk’s lawyer argues that the investigation and trial were fundamentally flawed, and that his client was beaten in detention. He says, Yuzepchuk belongs to the marginalised Roma ethnic group, doesn’t have an internal passport, is illiterate and does not know the months of the year.

But there’s a different very well known case. Three men and a woman killed a man from their village Pukhavichy. They stalked their victim for several hours before attacking him with axes and killing him with blows to the head. They set the body on fire and then went to a cafe to celebrate New Year’s Eve.

The suspects were released from pre-trial detention after less than a month by order of the President Lukashenka. Moreover, the Belarusian leader told Supreme Court Chairman to sympathise with them. “The victim was a villain, terrorised people, the entire village,” Mr. Lukashenka said. “If the men took that step, they probably were angered indeed and all ordinary people are on their side.”

In April three men and a woman were found guilty of premeditated murder and got unprecedentedly lenient sentences. Two men got 3 and 5 years in prison under the Criminal Code’s article, which provides for a prison term of between eight and 25 years, life imprisonment, or the death penalty. The rest received 2 years restricted freedom.

Then President Lukashenka has pardoned those who got prison sentences, the third guy was amnestied…

That’s why it’s impossible to say if the EU efforts to save two convicts could be successful. As all people are equal but some are still a tiny bit more equal.

… aaand I did it again :( I wanted to write something positive! Probably next time.

I’ll finish with a famous Soviet song performed by a Belarusian babushkababulya. The hit goes like that: “Life, I love you, and I hope it’s not all on one side”.

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