The Belarusian authorities have raised objections to the consideration of death row inmate Vasil Yuzepchuk’s complaint by the UN Human Rights Committee, human rights defender Raman Kislyak told BelaPAN.
In a letter to the Committee, the Belarusian government said that the convict had not exhausted all domestic legal remedies to have his death sentence overturned before submitting the complaint to the UN body and its consideration would be "unacceptable," said Mr. Kislyak, who sent the complaint on Mr. Yuzepchuk’s behalf.
The authorities said that Mr. Yuzepchuk had not appealed his sentence to the Supreme Court and had not asked for clemency before sending the complaint to the Committee.
The government acknowledged that the man had submitted an appeal for clemency since and promised that it would be considered by the government’s special commission and Alyaksandr Lukashenka.
The Belarusian authorities assured the UN body that Mr. Yuzepchuk would not be executed until his appeal for clemency was considered.
Mr. Yuzepchuk, 30, received the death sentence on June 29 after the Brest Regional Court found him guilty of murdering and robbing six old women in villages in the Drahichyn district. On October 2, the Supreme Court of Belarus rejected Mr. Yuzepchuk's final appeal.
The four murders were committed in night home invasions between November 2007 and January 2008. Mr. Yuzepchuk allegedly strangled the victims while his accomplice was holding them. Mr. Yuzepchuk is believed to have been alone when he broke into the houses of the other two women and strangled them. The man, who had two previous convictions, also was found guilty of assault and robbery in the Hrodna region. Before committing the murders, he met with the victims to look for their money under the pretense of helping them with housework. Five of the victims were over 70 years of age at the time of death.