On 3 December “AI” activists held a street action in Lviv to condemn the ongoing use of the death penalty in Belarus and support Liubou Kavaliova, whose son was executed in March 2012 in Minsk.
At 1 p.m. participants of the action gathered near the Boyims Chapel with the posters “Let's stop the death penalty!” and encouraged people to take photos with ribbons of different colors.
“Like many Ukrainians, I am concerned with the fate of our brethren from Belarus. Today we have come out of an action in order to call on the Belarusian authorities to abolish this inhuman punishment with death,” stated one of the activists, Natallya Shalata. “We also organize a photo action in support of Liubou Kavaliova. All volunteers can take photos with a ribbon which symbolizes the ceaselessness of life. We will aggregate the obtained photos in a collage and then pass them to Liubou.”
Moreover, the activists took part in the illumination of the Boyims Chapel at 5 p.m. within the framework of the universal action “Cities for Life, cities against the death penalty”. The light by which temples are illuminated this day has a symbolical meaning. All participants of the actions express the hope that this light will reach the parts of the world where the death penalty is still used.
"The death penalty is the deliberate deprivation of life on the part of the state, which violates the right to life, declared by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. This is an extremely violent and inhuman kind of punishment, irrespective of the methods used – be it electric chair, hanging, asphyxiation, stoning, shooting, deadly injection or anything else,” emphasized the executive officer of the “AI” on the former USSR territory Tetyana Mazur. “Belarus remains the last henchman in Europe and on the former USSR territory. The extreme penalty is surrounded with secrecy. Death convicts are executed by a shot in the back of the head, and sometimes it takes more than one bullet. The bodies are not passed to the relatives, who are often informed about the execution post factum. Meanwhile, the place of the burial is kept in secret, which brings even more grief to the families.”