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Viktar Skrundzik (giacca blu) e Valyantsin Bushnin (giacca rossa)
Viktar Skrundzik (blue jacket) and Valyantsin Bushnin (red jacket)
BELARUS: IN RARE MOVE, SUPREME COURT CANCELS DEATH SENTENCE IN HIGH-PROFILE CASE

July 2, 2020:

Belarus's Supreme Court has upheld the appeal of a death-row inmate and annulled his sentence in a murder case, a very rare move in the tightly controlled state led by autocratic President Alyaksandr Lukashenka.
The court also annulled two other sentences in the case on 30 June 2020 and sent it back for further investigation and a retrial. Belarus is the only country in Europe that enforces the death penalty.
A court in the central city of Slutsk in early March sentenced 29-year-old Viktar Skrundzik to death, 25-year-old Vital Myatsezh to 22 years in prison, and 33-year-old Valyantsin Bushnin to 18 years in prison, after finding them guilty of murdering two elderly persons, along with further crimes of attempted murder, arson, and robbery.
All three pleaded partially guilty and appealed their sentences. Skrundzik insisted at the trial that his initial confession in the crimes had been coerced by investigators.
Only Skrundzik was present at the appeal hearing on 30 June.
He was brought to the courtroom handcuffed and in a special robe for death row convicts that has the letters VMN emblazoned on it. The acronym stands for capital punishment.
Skrundzik reiterated his stance, saying that he had confessed to the murders of the two elderly persons -- Mikhail Shuhaley and Uladzimer Harkavets -- under pressure, and stated that in fact he had not killed them.
According to Skrundzik, it was Bushnin who killed the two men. Skrundzik added that he feared Bushnin because, according to him, the man had connections in criminal circles.
Belarusian human rights activist Andrey Paluda called the court's decision "a historic moment."
"A death sentence was canceled, which is very rare.... The whole case will be reinvestigated and that is a big thing, which we hail," Paluda told RFE/RL.
For years, the European Union has urged Belarus to join other countries in declaring a moratorium on capital punishment.
According to Paluda, aside from Skrundzik, there are four other persons on death row in Belarus.
Rights organizations have said that more than 400 people have been sentenced to death in Belarus since it gained independence following the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991.

(Sources: rferl.org, 01/07/2020)

IRAN: HANDS OFF CAIN, THE HANGING OF THE PROTESTER MOSTAFA SALEHI IS A SHAME FOR THE SO-CALLED DEMOCRATIC WORLD 
CHINA: FOURTH CANADIAN SENTENCED TO DEATH ON DRUG CHARGES
CHINA: CANADIAN CITIZEN SENTENCED TO DEATH ON DRUG CHARGE
IRAN: WOMAN EXECUTED AFTER SIX YEARS ON DEATH ROW
SRI LANKA: MAN SENTENCED TO DEATH OVER MURDER OF DAUGHTER
IRAN - Political prisoner Mostafa Salehi was hanged on August 5 in Isfahan prison.
IRAN - On August 5, the Supreme Court upheld a death sentence against political prisoner Heydar Ghorbani
TURKEY EXTRADITES OFFICER BEHIND LEAKED MILITARY SECRETS TO ALGERIA
IRAN - the case of Jamshid Sharmahd. The kidnapping of Iranian dissidents is becoming a regular occurrence.
USA: FEDERAL APPEALS COURT OVERTURNED DZHOKHAR TSARNAEV'S DEATH SENTENCE
IRAN: PRISONER EXECUTED IN SANANDAJ PRISON FOR MURDER
INDIA: MAN SENTENCED TO DEATH FOR RAPE AND MURDER OF MINOR GIRL
MALAYSIA: HAWKER SENT TO GALLOWS FOR DRUG TRAFFICKING
PHILIPPINES: CHR WARNS OF VIOLATING INT'L TREATIES BY REINSTATING DEATH PENALTY
SRI LANKA: SLPP RATHNAPURA DISTRICT CANDIDATE PREMALAL JAYASEKARA AND TWO OTHERS SENTENCED TO DEATH FOR MURDER
IRAN - Young woman, Mehri, was hanged in Mashhad on August 2.
MOROCCO: KING MOHAMMED VI OFFERS ROYAL PARDON TO 1,446 CONVICTS
VIETNAM: CAMBODIAN CROSS-BORDER DRUG TRAFFICKER GETS DEATH SENTENCE
CHINA: OFFICIAL SENTENCED TO DEATH WITH TWO-YEAR REPRIEVE
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USA: ‘BLACK LIVES MATTER’, BUT IS IT ONLY RACISM?
  IRAN. HANDS OFF CAIN, REDUCTION OF DRUG EXECUTIONS BUT NUMBERS REMAIN WORRISOME  
  HUMAN RIGHTS: DEMONSTRATION OF THE RADICAL PARTY BEFORE IRANIAN EMBASSY 14 FEBRUARY  
  BELARUS EXECUTES TWO CONVICTED MURDERERS  
  MALAYSIA: GOVT HALTS EXECUTION OF 1,200 DEATH ROW INMATES  
  JAPAN HANGS CULT LEADER SHOKO ASAHARA, 6 OTHERS FOR 1995 TOKYO SUBWAY SARIN ATTACK  
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