Death penalty in Belarus: Prison drawings inspired by executor’s narration (video)

How is a shooting done? This is known only to the victims and executioners. However, the former ones won’t tell anyone about it.

Aleh Alkayeu, head of the remand prison No. 1 in Minsk in 1996-2001, under the command of whom 134 shootings were executed, told activists of the campaign “Human Rights Defenders against Death Penalty in Belarus” about the procedure for execution of the death penalty.

On the basis of his narration, Viktar Tratsiakou made a video from the graphic pictures, implemented in the style of prisoners’ drawings, human rights centre Viasna (Spring) reports.

Aleh Alkayeu asserts that the stress experienced during execuion of the death penalty is beyond comparison. During the first execution the executioner experiences the “time dilation effect” and other signs of post-traumatic syndrome:

“Time slows down … you can clearly see all parts of the gun and how the bullet is getting out, like on a slow-motion video… I asked others, they experienced the same thing. And then everything works fine … and the gun too… At first the staff which were included in the group were not allowed even to come close – they watched it all from a distance. It is a killing, and such things never go unpunished.”

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Belarus remains the only country in Europe that uses the death penalty. In its statement on December 10, the International Human Rights Day, the EU condemned the death sentences imposed in Belarus in 2013 and urged its government to encourage a broader public discussion of the issue and immediately declare a moratorium on executions.

A high-profile case over the explosion in Minsk metro on April 11, 2011 is to be recalled: in March, 2012 Uladzislau Kavaliou and Dzmitry Kanavalau were put to death after being convicted of carrying out a terrorist attack.

The death verdict to the young men 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. Mr Kanavalau might have admitted legality of the judgement and refused to lodge a petition for pardon but Mr Kavaliou 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.

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