EXTERNAL AI Index: EUR 50/19/95
5 December 1995
Further information on EXTRA 124/95 (EUR 50/17/95, 24 October 1995) - Death
UKRAINE Fears of continuing executions despite announced moratorium
new name: Sergey Nikolaevich DRAGUNOV, aged 21
(______ __________ ________ in Russian)
Despite the fact that Ukraine, by having joined the Council of Europe, has
committed itself to an immediate moratorium on executions, there are fears
that the Ukrainian authorities may be continuing to execute prisoners on death
row. Amnesty International has learned of another such individual, Sergey
Nikolaevich Dragunov, who may be facing imminent execution unless his death
sentence is commuted by President Leonid Kuchma.
Ukraine became a member of the Council of Europe on 9 November 1995. At the
ceremony in Strasbourg, the Ukrainian foreign minister, Gennady Udovenko,
signed the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental
Freedoms (European Convention on Human Rights). As a member of the Council
of Europe, Ukraine has committed itself to impose an immediate moratorium on
executions and to abolish the death penalty within three years.
However, Amnesty International remains extremely concerned that executions
may be continuing in Ukraine. The organization is seeking an absolute and
unequivocal assurance from the Ukrainian government that no more death sentences
will be carried out until the death penalty is abolished, and that all relevant
government and judicial bodies will be informed that a moratorium is in force.
Amnesty International has yet to receive a satisfactory response to its earlier
appeals following the reported claim on 18 October by Grigory Vorsinov, the
General Procurator of Ukraine, that executions were continuing.
A meeting of Ukrainian Government representatives with members of the Committee
of Legal Affairs and Human Rights of the Council of Europe is scheduled for
11 December 1995. This is the first meeting to review Ukraine's commitments
given to the Council of Europe since Ukraine became a member of the Council
The case of Sergey Dragunov is the latest to have come to Amnesty International's
attention. Accused of being an accomplice in the killing of a taxi driver
on 29 October 1993, Sergey Dragunov was sentenced to death for premeditated
murder (Article 93 of the Ukrainian Criminal Code) by the Donetsk Regional
Court on 29 March 1995. His appeal was turned down by the Ukrainian Supreme
Court on 8 June.
Urgent Action participants are also currently appealing on the cases of Zaur
Zilfugarov and Danilo Krasnov, sentenced to death in early 1994 for murder.
Amnesty International fears that the two may also be facing imminent execution
(see further information on UA 424/94, EUR 50/18/95, 30 November 1995).
FURTHER RECOMMENDED ACTION: Please send telegrams/faxes/express/airmail
letters either in Russian, English or in your own language:
- urging the Ukrainian authorities to ensure that, as a member of the Council
of Europe, they fully respect all commitments undertaken to impose an immediate
moratorium on executions, and to abolish the death penalty within three years;