• Urgent Action

Urgent Action Update: VIKTAR PAULAU MAY HAVE BEEN EXECUTED (Belarus: UA 168.19)

June 17, 2021

Viktar Paulau has been at imminent risk of execution after the Supreme Court of Belarus upheld his conviction and death sentence on November 12, 2019. His sister was denied permission to visit him on June 10, 2021 and when his lawyer enquired about his whereabouts, he was told that his client was no longer in the detention centre. The family fears that he may have been executed. Amnesty International opposes the death penalty in all cases, without exception, as the ultimate cruel, inhuman and degrading punishment.

  1. Please take action as-soon-as possible. This Urgent Action expires on August 12, 2021.
  2. Write a letter in your own words or using the sample below as a guide to one or both government officials listed. You can also email, fax, call or Tweet them.
  3. Click here to let us know the actions you took on Urgent Action 168.19. It’s important to report because we share the total number with the officials we are trying to persuade and the people we are trying to help.
Volha Ivanauna Chupris Chairperson of the Clemency Commission Presidential Administration Vul. Karla Marksa 38 Minsk, Belarus 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] Twitter: @BelarusEmbUSA Salutation: Dear Ambassador

SAMPLE LETTER Dear Ms. Chupris, I am writing to express my concern that Viktar Paulau may be at imminent risk of execution or may have been executed. His sister was recently denied permission to see him and on June 10, 2021 officials at the pre-trial detention centre informed his lawyer that he is not in the detention centre. This is usually the first sign for families that their relative may have been executed. The treatment of the relatives of those on death row has been classified as torture and other ill-treatment by the UN Human Rights Committee. Relatives are usually only informed after an execution has been carried out by receiving the death certificate in the post weeks or months later and they are not permitted to have the body for burial. Viktar Paulau was found guilty of the murder of two people in December 2018. According to local human rights defenders, there were irregularities in the court hearing which violated his right to a fair trial. He was convicted and sentenced to death on July 30, 2019 by the Viciebsk Regional Court whose sentence was upheld by the Supreme Court on November 12, 2019. The death penalty is the ultimate cruel, inhuman and degrading punishment and should be abolished. Belarus remains the only country in Europe and the former Soviet Union which still carries out executions. In light of the above, I urge you to:
  • Immediately halt the execution of Viktar Paulau and all those on death row in Belarus;
  • Immediately establish an official moratorium on executions with a view to abolishing the death penalty;
  • Commute all death sentences to terms of imprisonment.