PUBLIC AI Index: EUR 49/08/98
21 September 1998
Further information on UA 216/97 (EUR 49/07/97, 18 July 1997) and follow-up
(EUR 49/01/98, 16 January 1998) - Fear of imminent execution/Death penalty
BELARUSIgor Ganya, aged 34 (_____ ____)
F. Verega (first name not known, _. ______)
Two other people, names not known
Amnesty International has received a reply from the Supreme Court of Belarus
which states that on 20 January 1998 the Supreme Court upheld the appeal against
the death sentence passed on F. Verega and commuted the sentence to 15 years’
imprisonment. The Supreme Court did not uphold Igor Ganya’s appeal, and
therefore he remains under sentence of death.
Amnesty International is gravely concerned that Igor Ganya will face imminent
execution, unless President Alyaksandr Lukashenka grants him clemency.
According to reports, on 22 January 1998 President Lukashenka stated that he
had only pardoned one person facing the death penalty since he came to power
Igor Ganya and F. Verega, both citizens of Moldova, were sentenced to death
on 30 June 1997 by the Minsk Regional Court for premeditated, aggravated murder
under article 100 of the Belarussian Criminal Code.
Amnesty International has no further information regarding the two individuals,
whose names are not known and whose cases were taken up in EUR 49/01/98 (Further
information on UA 216/97, 18 July 1997).
According to press reports, Belarus's deputy Procurator, General Alyaksandr
Ivanowski, stated on 11 August 1998 that 33 people had been executed in Belarus
since the beginning of this year (whose sentences were passed in previous years).
According to information broadcast on 11 April 1998 on Belarussian national
television, at least 55 prisoners were on death row in the country at the time
of the broadcast. At least 13 of these had received their sentences in 1998.
FURTHER RECOMMENDED ACTION: Please send telegrams/faxes/express/airmail
letters in Russian, English or in your own language:
- urging the Clemency Commission and President Lukashenka to grant clemency
to Igor Ganya and to all other prisoners at present on death row in Belarus,
and to commute their sentences;
- calling for an independent investigation into allegations that both Igor
Ganya and F. Verega were forced to confess their guilt under physical duress,
for the findings to be made public and for any law enforcement officer found
guilty of ill-treatment to be brought to justice in accordance with the norms
of international law;
- expressing concern at the very high rate of executions in Belarus in 1998,
and urging the Belarussian authorities to declare an official moratorium on
executions in view of Belarus’s application for membership to the Council of
Europe, to demonstrate Belarus’s intent to move towards the abolition of the
death penalty, a commitment which is required of all states on admission to
the Council of Europe;
- calling for official and comprehensive statistics on the application of the
death penalty in Belarus to be made public;