Posts Tagged ‘Belarus’


The monthly death penalty report is available thanks to group member Lesley for compiling it.

January report

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Letter in the Observer (19 February) from a group of lawyers stressing the importance of ECHR

Theresa May has repeatedly stated her feelings that Britain would be better served by leaving the European convention on human rights than it would leaving the European Union.  As we enter Brexit negotiations, there is now every possibility that both these scenarios could easily come to pass.  The ECHR has been the bedrock of peace in Europe since the Second World War and was instrumental in the remarkable growth of democracy in Eastern Europe after the fall of the Berlin Wall.  It is no coincidence that the one state that is not part of the convention, Belarus, is known as “Europe’s last dictatorship”.  The withdrawal of Britain from the EU and the ECHR in succession could embolden populist leaders in countries such as Hungary and Poland to abandon domestic and international commitments to human rights.

We face the threat of a human rights crisis with the UK trading away protections against torture for grubby trade deals with foreign tyrants.  We are calling for the EU to make Britain’s membership of the ECHR a legally binding requirement for any future free trade deal with the UK.  The rule of law and human rights are non-negotiable when new countries join the EU; they should be non-negotiable when countries leave and desire a free trade deal.

As parliament scrutinises the bill on withdrawing from the EU and further legislation on Brexit, MPs, peers and the EU itself must make sure that Britain’s membership of the ECHR is a requirement of any future trade deal with the EU.

Signed Sashy Nathan, Baroness Kennedy QC, Lord Lester QC, Sir Geoffrey Bindman QC, Alex Bailin QC, Alex Grigg, Ali Naseem Bajwa QC, Alistair Polson, Amos Waldman, Anya Lewis, Ben Cooper

Caoilfhionn Gallagher QC, Celia Graves, David Jones, Dr Leslie Thomas QC, Grainne Mellon, Top of Form

Greg Ó Ceallaigh, Harriet Johnson, Helen Foot, James Wood, Jelia Sane, John Halford

Jules Carey, Keir Monteith, Louise Hooper, Malcolm Hawkes, Mark Stephens CBE, Navita Atreya, Nerida Harford-Bell, Paramjit Ahluwalia, Patrick O’Connor QC, Phil Haywood

Prof. Fergal Davis, Prof. Francesca Klug OBE, Professor Steve Peers, Ravi Naik, Sadat Sayeed, Sally Ireland, Sarah Forster, Sean Horstead, Sir Paul Jenkins KCB QC, Stephen Lue

We should add that our MP Mr John Glen, is in favour of this policy.


The latest death penalty report covering the period 13 January to 9 February is attached and thanks to group member Lesley for compiling it.  The report notes that many of the countries which feature in the report have close links with the UK as we have described in previous posts.

Death penalty report (pdf)

Reggie Clemons (picture Amnesty USA)

Reggie Clemons (picture Amnesty USA)


The latest edition of the death penalty report is now available thanks to group member Lesley for compiling it.  China leads the world in the number of its citizens it executes.

October – November report

No to the death penalty


March/April report now available

STOP PRESS

Since this item was posted we have received notification that Californian Dept. of Corrections and Rehabilitation has extended its written public comment period to 15 MayFull details can be found on another post.

The death penalty report for March/April 2016 is now available thanks to group member Lesley for compiling it.  It has been a grim period with rises in executions in Iran and Pakistan and several executions in USA following dubious trials.  Iran is coming under increasing scrutiny worldwide for its practice of executing people who were juveniles at the time of their alleged offences.

China continues to lead the world with more executions than all other countries put together.

March – April report

No to the death penalty

 


Death sentence in Belarus
President Lukashenko

President Lukashenko

We are highlighting the case of Gennadii Yokovitskii in Belarus and asking that you find time to write to the relevant authorities please.  Belarus is the last country in Europe which exercises the death penalty and as much of what goes on is secret, there is a lack of an informed debate within the country.

The justice system is flawed with many convictions based on forced confessions.

When the executions actually happen is unknown to the victim, his or her family or their legal representative which adds considerably to the stress the family is suffering.  After the executions have taken place, the authorities will not release the body or even say where it is buried.

Amnesty is opposed to the death penalty in all cases.  There is no available image of Gennadii.

Urgent Action

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No to the death penalty


This is the monthly report on the state of death penalty around the world, thanks to Lesley for compiling it.

No to the death penaltyThe news that Ray Hilton has been released after 28 years on death row is both heartening and shocking.  That the state of Alabama should have so badly conducted his trial and then refused to allow the fresh ballistic evidence to be heard, which was the only evidence against him, is particularly shocking.  There can be few better examples of the dangers of this penalty than a case such as this.

Death penalty report APRIL 2015


DEATH PENALTY SUMMARY – JUNE 2014

No to the death penaltyGeneral 

  • USA
    • Tennessee – are reported to be considering bringing back the electric chair in the light of the recent difficulties with the use of lethal injections
    • Wyoming – are reported to be considering using a firing squad
    • New Hampshire – disappointingly, the second attempt at the repeal of the death penalty was defeated in the Senate on 22nd May. The death sentence remains.
    • Missouri – a stay of execution was granted for Russell Bucklew on 22nd May following his claim that a congenital illness would probably cause additional suffering under the current regime of lethal injection
    • A report appeared on Google that the US Supreme Court has said states must look beyond an intelligence test score in borderline cases of mental disability to determine whether a death row inmate is eligible to be executed

Urgent Actions 

  • #Sudan – Meriam Ibrahim – a Christian woman has been sentenced to hang (and to a flogging) for the ‘apostasy’ of marrying a non-muslim, and for refusing to renounce her Christian faith.  An AI email UA was circulated to the DPLWG on 26th May.  Information in media on 31.5.14 that she was to be released but there are doubts as to the truth of this.  Note – Nesrine Malik expressed concern in the Guardian (4.6.14) that western media are harming Meriam’s chances of release.  Initial local opposition had been having an effect, and Government pride is an issue.  She criticised David Cameron’s approach.  Latest news – Meriam gave birth in chains. She is to be hanged in 2 years.

 

  • USA – Florida – Michael Duane Zak – UA 140/14 – has exhausted his ordinary court appeals and is seeking executive commutation of his death sentence of life imprisonment. Circulated to DPLWG 28.5.14 (this month’s Urgent Action)

 

  • #Iraq – UA 151/13 – Osama Jamal ‘Abdullah Mahdi’s files are now with the office of the President for review. If his death sentence is ratified, he could be executed at any time. Circulated to DPLWG 30.5.14

 

 Campaigning 

  • Hakamada Iwao – information has been received from Caroline Butler that the Devizes Group have been in contact with AI in Japan in order to send cards and messages to Hakamada. Would the Salisbury Group like to do so?

 

  • #Belarus – a response has now been received from SCT with contact details of Barry Hay for seeking further advice – an email was sent on 10th June. Note: 

 

Belarus is the last UN member state in Europe to have retained the death penalty.  In 2013 there were no reported executions, but the death penalty was reinstated this year, and to date two men are believed to have been executed. Death row prisoners receive no advance notice and are executed by a bullet through the back of the head. This month the UN Human Rights Council will be focusing on the human rights situation in Belarus – making it a particularly appropriate time for action by Amnesty.