On 22 May, the Supreme Court of Belarus upheld the death sentences of young brothers Stanislau and Illia Kostseu, aged 19 and 21 respectively. They have appealed to President Lukashenka for clemency. The President has granted clemency only once since coming to power in 1994. If clemency is denied, Stanislau and Illia Kostseu will be executed imminently.
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President of Belarus, Alyaksandr Lukashenka
Vul. Karla Marksa, 38
Fax: +375 17 226 06 10 +375 17 222 38 72
Email: [email protected]
Ambassador Dmitry Basik
Embassy of Belarus
1619 New Hampshire Ave NW, Washington DC 20009
Phone: 202 986 9420 I Fax: 202 986 1805
Email: [email protected]
Salutation: Dear Ambassador
I am writing to appeal to your sense of compassion and humanity, as values which the people of Belarus greatly admire and urge you to grant clemency to two young brothers on death row, Stanislau and Illia Kostseu. Their death sentences were upheld by the Supreme Court on 22 May, and they have now applied to you for clemency as their last chance. They are 19 and 21 years old, respectively.
There is no doubt that the murder, for which they were convicted, is a serious crime. They have both expressed their deep regret and cooperated fully with the criminal investigation. Stanislau and Illia Kostseu are the youngest prisoners to be sentenced to death in Belarus in over ten years and their execution would be a terrible stain on Belarus’ record. I urge you to take into account their young age, and the plea from their mother and sister who raised them after their father died, when deciding their fate.
The death penalty has been abolished in law or practice in every country in Europe and Central Asia, except Belarus, although there is a clear and welcome commitment from Belarus to join its neighbors and the global trend towards abolition.
With international attention currently on Belarus, granting clemency to Stanislau and Illia Kostseu would be a clear signal of Belarus’ meaningful intention to end this practice. It would also give these very young men the opportunity to turn their troubled lives around and show that rehabilitation and reform is possible.
Please make this an historic moment for Belarus and its future, and grant clemency to Stanislau and Illia Kostseu and commute their death sentences to terms of imprisonment.