On April 11, 2011 at 17:56 at Kastrychnitskaya underground station a bomb exploded, killing 15 and injuring 387 persons. 15 victims were people of diggerent age, occupations and outlooks. What united them is a tragic turn of events: on that very day these Minsk residents happened to be closer to the explosion epicentre.
12 persons passed away on the spot, 3 died from wounds resulting from the explosion:
Natallia Abrazhey, 44, accountant
Halina Pikulik, 51, employee at a publishing house
Anatol Narkevich, 51, chief safety officer at a bank
Yury Klimets, 23, Master’s Degree student
Siarhei Herasimchyk, 17, student
Tatsiana Zakharkava, 42, director of an enterprise
Hanna Shagoyka, 56, shop-assistant
Aliaksandr Parfuntsau, 57, economist
Raman Kaptsyukh, 21, student
Siarhei Siarbayeu, 22, worked in a café
Volha Salaviova, 27, interpreter
Vital Bakan, 33, construction worker
Anatol Makeychik, 57, air conditioning equipment installer
Vital Dayneka, 40
Andrey Illin, 37, emergency doctor
Who is to blame?
A day later, on April 12, two Vitsebsk-born men were arrested: 25-year-old Dzmitry Kanavalau and Uladzislau Kavaliou were accused of organising the terrorist attack in Minsk underground. Moreover, both became suspects of performing two other attacks in 2005 in Vitsebsk and 2008 in Minsk.
The death verdict to Dzmitry Kanavalau and Uladzislau Kavaliou delivered by the Supreme Court of Belarus on November, 30, 2011 triggered a mixed reaction in society and drew attention to the death penalty issue once again. Dzmitry Kanavalau was found guilty of rganization of the terroristic act in Minsk underground on April, 11, 2011. He admitted legality of the judgement and refused to lodge a petition for pardon. As for Uladzislau Kavaliou, he denied his participation in organizing three explosions and stated that in the course of investigation he had incriminated himself and Kanavalau acting under pressure of law enforcement officials.
Uladzislau Kavaliou filed a petition for pardon addressed to Aliaksandr Lukashenka as far back as beginning of December, 2011. His mother, Lyubou Kavaliova, was fighting for the son’s life from the moment of his arrest till his execution: she urged Lukashenka to order the one-year postponement of the execution of her son. But in vain: the Belarusian leader decided not to commute the death sentences because “the acts of terrorism and other crimes perpetrated by them were exceptionally grave, resulting in multiple deaths and causing injuries to a large number of people”.
What was the execution of Dzmitry Kanavalau and Uladzislau Kavaliou? Was it just punishment or judicial murder? Belsat’s documentary Fear in a Peaceful Land presents the facts previously unknown, independent experts’ evaluations, stories about the Belarusian prosecution system. Its authors study the most controversial moments of the case of the alleged terrorists which were ignored in court. Why didn’t Dzmitry Kanavalau say a word in court? Its authors study the most controversial moments of the case of the alleged terrorists which were ignored in court.