UN human rights panel deplores Belarus execution

19 March 2012 – The United Nations Human Rights Committee today voiced grave concern over the execution in Belarus of a person whose case was under its consideration after he was found guilty of last year’s bombing of a subway in the capital, Minsk.

Vladislav Kovalev was executed “in recent days” along with another person following their conviction, the Committee, the body of independent experts that monitors implementation of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights by State parties, said in a statement.

Mr. Kovalev had petitioned the Committee claiming that his trial was unfair and that he had been forced to confess guilt.

“The position of the Human Rights Committee is clear – Belarus has committed a grave breach of its legal obligations by executing Mr. Kovalev,” said the Committee’s chair, Zonke Zanele Majodina.

“Furthermore, this is not the first time – in 2010 and 2011 it also executed persons whose cases were before the Committee. We deplore these flagrant violations of the human rights treaty obligations of Belarus,” she said.

The Committee had asked the Belarus authorities to stay the execution pending its consideration of the case. Such requests are binding as a matter of international law, the Committee said, adding that it will continue to consider Mr. Kovalev’s case despite his execution.

The Committee is currently holding its 104th session in New York, during which it is considering the human rights situations in the Cape Verde, Dominican Republic, Guatemala, Turkmenistan and Yemen.


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