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Iran | Death Penalty According to Shariah Law

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Chapter III of the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Iran contains provisions related to the rights of the people.  In this Chapter, Article 22 states: “The dignity, life, property, rights, domicile, and occupations of people may not be violated, unless sanctioned by law.” However, the number of crimes punishable by death in Iran is among the highest in the world. Charges such as “adultery, incest, rape, sodomy, insulting the Prophet Mohammad and other great Prophets, possessing or selling illicit drugs, theft and alcohol consumption for the 4th time, premeditated murder, moharebeh (waging war against God), efsad-fil-arz (corruption on earth), baghy (armed rebellion), fraud and human trafficking” are capital offences.[1] Many of the charges punishable by death cannot be considered as “most serious crimes” and do not meet the ICCPR standards.[2] Murder, drug possession and trafficking, rape/sexual assault, moharebeh and efsad-fil-arz and baghy are the most common charges resulting

URGENT APPEAL for Aleh Gryshkautstou and Andrei Burdyka likely to be executed within the next few weeks in Belarus

The clemency applications of two men on death row in Belarus, Aleh Gryshkautstou and Andrei Burdyka have been turned down. They are likely to be executed within the next few weeks.

Aleh Gryshkautsou, aged 29, and Andrei Burdyka, aged 28, were sentenced to death by shooting on 14 May 2010 for crimes committed during an armed robbery on a flat in Grodno in October 2009. Both men were found guilty of premeditated murder, armed assault, arson, kidnapping of a minor, theft and robbery. On 17 September 2010, the Supreme Court in Minsk turned down their appeals.

The families of the two men only learnt that President Lukashenka had refused their requests for clemency after the news was broadcast on national television on 22 February. On 24 February, Andrei Burdyka’s mother received a letter from him in which he said that he would be seeing a priest on 23 February. This may indicate that his execution is very imminent.

Aleh Gryshkautstou and Andrei Burdyka have not denied the charges. However, 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.

In Belarus, prisoners on death row are told that they will be executed only moments before the sentence is carried out. They are shot in the back of the head; sometimes more than one bullet is needed. The body is not handed over to the family, who are often informed only afterwards, and the place of burial is kept secret, causing further distress to relatives.

BACKGROUND INFORMATION
Aleh Gryshkautsou is also known as Aleg Gryshkautsou.
Belarus carried out two executions in 2010. Vasily Yuzepchuk and Andrei Zhuk, were executed in March 2010, approximately two months after their clemency applications had been turned down. As in all death penalty cases in Belarus, neither the prisoners nor their relatives were informed of the date in advance. Andrei Zhuk’s mother only learnt of her son’s execution afterwards when she tried to deliver a food parcel on 19 March. The execution was carried out despite the fact that both men had applied to the UN Human Rights Committee, and on 12 October 2009 the Committee had made a request to the government not to execute the two men until it had considered their cases.

RECOMMENDED ACTION: Please send appeals to arrive as quickly as possible:
--Calling on President Lukashenka to stop the executions of Aleh Gryshkautstou and Andrei Burdyka;
--Calling on President Lukashenka to establish an immediate moratorium on the use of the death penalty, in line with UN General Assembly resolution 63/168, adopted on 18 December 2008.

APPEALS TO:

President
Alyaksandr Lukashenka
Administratsia Prezidenta Respubliki Belarus
ul.Karla Marksa, 38
220016 Minsk
BELARUS
Fax: 011 375 17 226 06 10 OR 011 375 17 222 38 72
Salutation: Dear President Lukashenka

COPIES TO:

Ambassador Oleg Kravchenko
Embassy of the Republic of Belarus
1619 New Hampshire Ave NW
Washington DC 20009
Fax: 1 202 986 1805

PLEASE SEND APPEALS IMMEDIATELY.


President Lukashenko denies clemency to Aleh Hryshkawtsow and Andrey Burdyka

February 25, 2011: Belarusian president Alyaksandr Lukashenko rejected clemency requests from death row inmates Aleh Hryshkawtsow, 29, and Andrey Burdyka, 28, according to Belarusian human right defenders. They were were sentenced to death by the Hrodna Regional Court on May 14, 2010, for an alleged triple murder in October 2009.

Burdyka and Hryshkawtsow, who had previous convictions, were found to have robbed an apartment in Hrodna in October 2009, killing one man and two women and taking a child hostage. They reportedly set fire to the apartment and then forced a taxi driver to drive them to Minsk or Moscow, but were arrested the following morning when the taxi driver escaped.

On 17 September, the Supreme Court of Belarus rejected appeals against the death sentences.

In their appeals, Burdyka and Hryshkawtsow argued that investigators had violated procedural regulations and the International Covenant on Civic and Political Rights, using illegal methods to obtain confessions. In addition, both Burdyka and Hryshkawtsow insisted that they had murdered only one person and blamed the other two murders on each other.

The two men are currently held in the detention centre on Minsk's Valadarskaha Street.

Source: BBC, 25/02/2011
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