Alexander Lukashenka has 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, Belarusian Television reported in its news show “Panarama” on March 14, 2012.
Dzmitry Kanavalau and Uladzislau Kavaliou were sentenced to death for the organization of the terroristic act in Minsk underground on April, 11, 2011, with 15 killed and 387 injured. The death verdict to both 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 since a greal deal of people considered their guilt as unproven.
Lyubou Kavaliova, the mother of the sentenced, is hardly able to say anything because of tears. «They have taken revenge on my son for his telling the truth in court, they have taken revenge on me for going to Strasbourg and telling what way the boys had been judged,» Mrs. Kavaliova said.
In her opinion, the permission to visit her son in prison on March 11, 2012 and their three-hour conversation did not happen by accident: «It was then that they were aware of everything, and Uladzislau was. I could not understand why he was looking in such a [strange – Belsat] way. He was certain to be eager to tell me something. A lot of people were killed in the bomb attack and now the killers are going to take lives of my son and Dzima [Kanavalau – Belsat].»
Uladzislau Kavaliou filed a petition for pardon addressed to Alexander Lukashenka as far back as beginning of December, 2011. Lyubou Kavaliova has been fighting for the son’s life since he was arrested. 25-year-old Dzmitry Kanavalau admitted legality of the judgement and refused to ask for clemency.
160,000 signatures for the abolition of death penalty were collected but Mr. Lukashenka does not seem to have taken this fact into consideration while making his decision on the subject. Belarus remains the only European country where the exceptional punitive measure is still practised.