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Ukraine: Death penalty / legal concern: Sergey Vysochansky

, N° d'index: EUR 50/015/1996

Sergey Vysochansky may be facing imminent execution after his appeal against his death sentence is believed to have been turned down by the Supreme Court of Ukraine on 4 August 1996. AI is gravely concerned especially in the light of claims that there is evidence which suggests that he may be innocent.

EXTERNAL AI Index: EUR 50/15/96
UA 280/96 Death penatly / Legal conern 2 December 1996
UKRAINESergey Vysochansky, aged 23
Amnesty International is alarmed that another man sentenced to death, Sergey
Vysochansky, may be facing imminent execution unless his sentence is commuted
by the President of Ukraine, Leonid Kuchma. His appeal against his death
sentence is believed to have been turned down by the Supreme Court of Ukraine
on 4 August 1996. Sergey Vysochansky was sentenced to death for premeditated
aggravated murder (Article 93 of the Ukrainian Criminal Code) by Khelmenitsky
regional court on 3 April 1996.
Amnesty International is gravely concerned at the speed with which Sergey
Vysochansky's case is being processed, especially in the light of claims that
there is evidence which suggests that Sergey Vysochansky is innocent and that
he is being used as a scapegoat in order that the murder investigation be
resolved.
Amnesty International is appalled that executions are continuing in Ukraine,
a year after Ukraine joined the Council of Europe and committed itself to
imposing an immediate moratorium on executions. Ukraine made the commitment
on 26 September 1995 "to sign within one year and ratify within three years
from the time of accession Protocol no. 6 of the Convention for the Protection
of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms on the abolition of the death penalty,
and to put into place, with immediate effect from the day of accession, a
moratorium on executions" (Parliamentary Assembly Opinion 190, 1995). Ukraine
joined the Council of Europe on 9 November 1995 and from that moment was bound
in good faith to implement this solemn commitment to a moratorium. However,
people on death row in Ukraine continue to be executed to this day.
Zsolt Nemeth, Council of Europe rapporteur on the honouring of obligations
and commitments by Ukraine, reported at a press conference on 29 November in
Kiev, that over 100 people had been executed since the beginning of 1996.
The Ukrainian Minister of Justice, Sergiy Holovaty, confirmed that 89 people
had been executed in the first six months of 1996.
Amnesty International has been able to confirm five of these executions: that
of Yury Strukhov in March; Vladimir Ogoltsov, in June; Aleksey Vedmedenko
and Denis Birukov in August and Sergey Tekuchev in October.
RECOMMENDED ACTION: Please send telegrams/faxes/express/airmail letters, in
equal numbers to each addressee, in Ukrainian, Russian, English or your own
language:
To the President:
- urging President Kuchma to grant clemency to Sergey Vysochansky;
- expressing outrage that Ukraine is violating its commitment to the Council
of Europe by continuing executions;
- urging President Kuchma to take the necessary steps for Ukraine to honours
its commitment to the Council of Europe and to sign Protocol 6 of the Convention
for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms.
To the Head of the Clemency Commission, Peotr Andreychenko:
- urging him to recommend to the President to intervene to prevent Sergey
Vysochansky's execution and to grant him clemency;
2
To the Head of the Central Directorate for the Execution of Punishment (GUIN)
at the Ministry of Internal Affairs:
- urging I. V. Shtanko to intervene in the case of Sergey Vysochansky to prevent
his execution taking place, thereby implementing Ukraine's commitment to a
moratorium on executions. Ask him to issue an order to all prison directors
and personnel telling them to stop all executions of prisoners in their prisons,
and not to transfer prisoners to other prisons where executions take place.
APPEALS TO:
President of Ukraine, Leonid KUCHMA
Ukraina
252601 Kiev
ul. Bankovaya, 7
Prezidentu Ukrainy Kuchma L.
Faxes: (380 44) 291 61 61
Telegrams: Ukraina, Kiev, Prezidentu Kuchma
Salutation: Dear President
Chairman of the Presidential Clemency Commission, Pyotr ANDREYCHENKO
Ukraina
252220 g. Kiev
ul. Bankovaya, 7
Kommissiya po voprosam pomilovaniya pri Prezidenta
Predsedatelyu Andreychenko P.
Telegrams: Ukraina, Kiev, Kommissiya po voprosam pomilovaniya, Predsedatelyu
Fax: (380 44) 291 61 61
Salutation: Dear Chairman
Head of the Central Directorate for the Execution of Punishment (GUIN)at the
Ministry of Internal Affairs, I.V. SHTANKO
Ukriana
252024 g. Kiev
ul. Bogomoltsa, 10
Ministerstvo vnutrennikh
del Ukrainy
Glavnoye Upravleniye Ispolneniya Nakazanii
Hachalniku
Shtanku I.V
Fax: (380 44) 291 17 33
Telegrams: Ukraina, Kiev, GUIN, Nachalniku
Salutation: Dear I.V. Shtanko
COPIES TO:
Procurator General of Ukraine, Grigory VORSINOV
Ukraina
252601 g. Kiev II
ul. Reznitskaya, 13/15
Prokuratura Ukrainy
Generalnomu prokuroru VORSINOVU G.
Fax: (380 44) 290 26 03
The Procurator of Khelmenitsky region, name not known
UKRAINE
Khelmenitsky oblast
3
Khelmenitsk
Oblastnaya prokuratora
Prokuroru
and to diplomatic representatives of UKRAINE accredited to your country.
PLEASE SEND APPEALS IMMEDIATELY. Check with the International Secretariat,
or your section office, if sending appeals after 7 January 1997.

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