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Date: Fri, 16 Jan 98 12:48:10 CST
From: Ray Mitchell <>
Subject: AI: Belarus bulletin

Belarus bulletin

Amnesty International Urgent Action Bulletin, AI Index: EUR 49/01/98, 16 January 1998

Further information on UA 216/97 (EUR 49//07/97, 18 July 1997) - Fear of execution / Death penalty

Igor Ganya, aged 34
F. Verega (first name not known)
Two other people, names not known

Amnesty International is gravely concerned that at least four people may face execution in Belarus unless appeals against their death sentences are upheld by the Supreme Court or President Lukashenka.

Press reports claim that five people were sentenced to death by the Minsk City court in the first nine months of 1997: two of these people are believed to be Igor Ganya and F. Verega, who were sentenced to death in June 1997 for murder.

On 12 January 1998 Radio Liberty reported that a total of nine people had been sentenced to death in Hrodno region in 1997, and that seven of them had already been executed. The names of the two people not yet executed are not known.


According to official information provided to the UN Human Rights Committee in October 1997, in the first six months of 1997 17 people were sentenced to death and 12 were executed in Belarus.

In October 1997, the head of the clemency department at the presidential administration, Vladimir Samusev, told Amnesty International that the 38 people who were sentenced to death in Belarus in 1996 had all been executed. He said that in the first nine months of 1997, 24 appeals for clemency were turned down by President Lukashenka and that six more people were awaiting the President's decision on their appeals for clemency in October 1997. Amnesty International fears that all of these people may have been executed, but no official information on the number of executions in Belarus is available.

As far as Amnesty International is aware, President Lukashenka has not granted clemency to a single death row prisoner during his two and a half years in office.

Supporters of Amnesty International around the world are writing urgent appeals in response to the concerns described above. If you would like to join with them in this action or have any queries about the Urgent Action network or Amnesty International in general, please contact one of the following: + Ray Mitchell, (UK) +
+ Scott Harrison, (USA) +
+ Guido Gabriel, (Germany) +
+ Marilyn McKim, (Canada) +
+ (Belgium) +
+ Anne Nolan, (Ireland) +