Friday, June 28, 2013

Urgent Action Appeal for Pavel Selyun, a 23 year-old man sentenced to death in Belarus

A 23 year-old man has been sentenced to death in Western Belarus on 12 June for a double murder.

Pavel Selyun was sentenced to death by the Hrodna Regional Court on 12 June for the murder of his wife and her lover in August 2012. His lawyer has appealed the sentence to the Supreme Court.

He is currently being detained in Investigation Isolation Prison (SIZO) No. 1 in Hrodna. His mother, Tamara Selyun, who lives over 300 km away from Hrodna, has not received any letters from him since the sentence was pronounced on 12 June, and she is concerned that he may commit suicide. She told Amnesty International: “My son is worthy of making a contribution to his country and shouldn't be sitting where he is sitting now”.

Belarus is the last country in Europe which still carries out executions: in 2012 it executed three men. Three death sentences have been pronounced so far in 2013: Rygor Yuzepchuk was sentenced on 24 April, and Alyaksandr Harynou was sentenced on 14 June.

On 21 June, at a round table on religion and the death penalty organized by the Council of Europe, the Head of the Orthodox Church in Belarus, Metropolitan Filaret spoke out against the death penalty: "We, Christians, cannot legitimize capital punishment since this is the sin of murder … We, sinful people, are not to grant life to a person, neither we should decide about a person's existence."

Please write immediately in Belarusian, Russian, English or your own language:
-Urging President Lukashenka to commute immediately the death sentence of Pavel Selyun;
-Urging him to commute immediately all the death sentences in Belarus;
-Calling on him to establish an immediate moratorium on the use of the death penalty.

PLEASE SEND APPEALS BEFORE 08 AUGUST 2013 TO:

President
Alyaksandr Lukashenka
ul. Karla Marxa 38
220016 Minsk
Belarus
Fax: 011 375 17 226 0610
011 375 17 222 3872

And copies to:
Chair of the Supreme Court of Belarus
Valentin Sukalo
Lenina 28
220030 Minsk
Belarus
Fax: 011 375 17 3271225
Salutation: Dear President Lukashenka

Ambassador Oleg Kravchenko
Embassy of the Republic of Belarus
1619 New Hampshire Ave NW
Washington DC 20009
Tel: 1 202 986 1604
Fax: 1 202 986 1805
Please check with the Urgent Action Network office if sending appeals after the above date.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION
In Belarus, death sentences are often imposed after unfair trials which include forced confessions; they are implemented in strict secrecy and without giving adequate notice to the inmates themselves, their families or legal representatives. The authorities refuse to return the bodies of those executed to their relatives or even tell them where they are buried; and executions are carried out despite requests from the UN Human Rights Committee to the government not to carry out the executions. The Human Rights Committee and others have found that the application of the death penalty in Belarus violates the human rights of those convicted and their families.

Amnesty International opposes the death penalty in all cases without exception. It violates the right to life, as proclaimed in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. It is the ultimate cruel, inhuman and degrading punishment.

Name: Pavel Selyun (m)
Issues: Death penalty
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Amnesty International is a worldwide grassroots movement that promotes and defends human rights.

This Urgent Action may be reposted if kept intact, including contact information and stop action date (if applicable). Thank you for your help with this appeal.

Urgent Action Network
Amnesty International USA
600 Pennsylvania Ave SE 5th fl
Washington DC 20003
Phone: 202.509.8193
Fax: 202.675.8566
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END OF URGENT ACTION APPEAL