The mother of 1 of 2 men charged with a subway bombing attack in Belarus that
killed 15 people and wounded hundreds more says he has been executed.
Lyubou Kavalyova told Russia's RIA Novosti news agency she had received
official notification about the execution of her son, Uladzislau Kavalyou.
Kavalyova said she received a letter informing the family of the execution.
There has been no immediate confirmation from the government.
"My mother just took the notice out of the mailbox. The Supreme Court...a
letter from March 16...that the order was carried out.... Mama received it,
they killed him. Everything was in vain. Everything was in vain," a sobbing
Tatsyana Kavalyova, Kavalyou's sister, told RFE/RL's Belarus Service.
The news comes after Lyubou Kavalyova told RFE/RL on March 16 that she had
asked Belarusian President Alyaksandr Lukashenka to stay the execution for at
least one year, until her son receives a response to his appeal to the United
Nations Committee on Human Rights over the death sentence.
Lyubou Kavalyova reacts to news of her son's execution at her home in Vitsebsk
on March 17.xLyubou Kavalyova reacts to news of her son's execution at her home
in Vitsebsk on March 17.
??In Brussels, Maja Kocijancic, the spokeswoman of EU foreign-policy chief
Catherine Ashton, reacted to the news of the execution by saying, "if this is
indeed confirmed, we condemn this."
"I can also add that of course we are aware of the terrible crimes that Mr.
Kavalyou and Mr. Kanavalau were condemned for, and our thoughts are with the
victims and the families," Kocijancic said, "but at the same time we also know
that the 2 accused were not accorded due process including the right to defend
Ashton had appealed to Belarus on March 16 not to execute the 2 men condemned
to death on charges related to the bombing on the Minsk subway in April 2011.
A statement from Ashton's office said she was "very concerned" about the
decision not to pardon Kavalyou and Dzmitry Kanavalau, who were sentenced in
Germany also urged Belarus on March 16 not to execute the 2 men, warning the
executions could further strain relations between the two countries.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel's spokesman, Steffen Seibert, told journalists
that Lukashenka's rejection of the execution appeal on March 14 filled Berlin
with "great concern" that the sentences would imminently be carried out.
Seibert added there were "quite considerable doubts and questions" regarding
the case against both men.
On March 14, Lukashenka refused to grant clemency to the 2 26-year-old factory
workers, despite the pleas of Kavalyou's mother.
The quick investigation and lack of motives presented during the trial of the 2
men has sparked accusations that the bombing was a plot by security services to
justify a crackdown against Lukashenka's political foes.
Lukashenka, who was reelected in a controversial December 2010 vote, has said
that the blast was an attempt to destabilize the country by unknown enemies of
the state. Belarusian investigators said the men were driven by "hatred for
humankind," not political or religious motives.
On March 16, Belarusian activists held a ceremony to commemorate the subway
explosion victims in Minsk to try to draw public attention to the situation
faced by the 2 convicts.
The event was organized via social networks, where activists wrote that they
wanted a new trial for Kanavalau and Kavalyou and a moratorium on the death
penalty in Belarus.
Belarus is the last country in Europe to carry out executions.
(source: Radio Free Europe)