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UN Human Rights Committee deplores Belarus execution

14 November 2014

The United Nations Human Rights Committee is gravely concerned that Belarus has executed a person whose complaint was under consideration by the Committee. The Committee was informed that the death sentence against Alexandr Grunov was carried out on 22 October 2014. Mr. Grunov had been found guilty of murder and sentenced to death by the Gomel Regional Court in December 2013. 

Mr. Grunov had petitioned the Committee, arguing that his trial was unfair and that he was convicted on the basis of his confession of guilt, which he made without a lawyer present.  In compliance with State parties’ obligation under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, the Human Rights Committee had requested the Belarusian authorities to stay the execution pending its consideration of the case. Such requests are binding as a matter of international law.

“The position of the Human Rights Committee remains unchanged regarding the breach of the Committee’s request for interim measures of protection to avoid irreparable harm,” said Sir Nigel Rodley, the Committee’s Chairperson. He highlighted that this was  not the first time that Belarus had executed complainants whose cases are registered and pending examination, with a request to have their execution put on hold.

“This amounts to a grave breach of its international legal obligations by Belarus,” said Sir Nigel.

As per usual practice, irrespective of this execution, the Human Rights Committee will continue to consider Mr. Grunov’s case.

1. More information on the work of the UN Human Rights Committee:

2. On interim measures of protection, see rule 92 of the Committee’s rules of procedures:

3. On the Committee’s consistent position on non-respect of interim measures, see for example, the decision in Communication No. 869/1999, Piandong v. the Philippines, Views adopted on 19 October 2000, paragraphs 5.1 – 5.4: