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June 4 2020 | BELARUS

Let's help Hanna Kostseva to save her brothers sentenced to death in Belarus

Appeal to save Stanislav e Il'ya Kostsev, two brothers aged 19 and 21

We ask they can serve their sentence in prison and their sentence be commuted

sentenced to death:
Stanislaw e Ilya Kostsew condannati a morte in Bielorussia
execution date:
place running:
click here to submit an appeal
printable version

We learn from an article published in the BBC News by Tatsiana Melnichuk and Tatsiana Yanutsevich that two young men have been sentenced to death in Belarus.  The date of their execution is unknown; any day now, it’s possible they will be executed.

Hanna, their oldest sister, has given her testimony. Five months ago, the two brothers were sentenced to death. Hanna hug her younger siblings through the bars in that courtroom, and promised she would do everything possible to save their lives. We believe it’s our duty to support her and ask the President of Belarus for clemency towards these two young guys .

It’s a story of poverty that goes back 19 years, when the father of these kids died. Stanislav, the youngest was then five months old. Il'ya was already two years old., Natalja, their mother, worked as a milkmaid on a collective farm to feed her family. Subsequently she got a job in a transport company, where her shifts sometimes ran late into the night. Stanislav, Il'ya and their older brother were often left in the care of Hanna, the oldest child of the family.  
Natalja held out for 13 years. Indeed, when Stanislav and Il'ya were 14 and 16 they were taken away from her and placed in a state-run children's home. Natalja had to pay the bill, from then on each month a third of her meagre salary has been taken by the state. She is still indebted to the State and she will continue to pay for the next eight years.  Since their children were arrested in 2019, Natalja’s olnly contact with them has been by letter. The prison was too far and she was unable to travel because of her work shifts and her debts.  
It was soon after Stanislav’s 18th birthday when the two young boys finally came back home, the family rejoiced at being reunited. But it didn’t last long! The two brothers had problems with a neighbour who had complained to social services about Hanna's children, Natalja’s grandchildren. She had suggested that they too be taken into care. Stanislav and Il'ya stabbed her to death then set the house on fire, and were quickly arrested.
The two brothers have begged the victim’s relatives to forgive them and then asked to talk to a priest. They are held separately because they are forbidden to meet or even write to each other.
It was only after the verdict that Hanna learned that other countries in Europe, including neighbouring Russia and Ukraine, no longer execute to death since 1996 and do not have death penalty. It was a bitter discovery but this has given her hope the sentence to be commuted to life in prison. 
Belarus is in the only European country where the death penalty still exists. Stanislav’s and Il'ya’s family  will never find out when they were shot, or where they were buried. The death penalty is denying the right to repent
May 24 2020

Supreme Court confirms death sentence for Kostseu brothers

May 20 2020

With grief we got known that Walter "Arkie" Barton was put to death in Bonne Terre, Missouri on Wednesday May 19 in the evening

We do not resign ourselves: the death penalty can be blocked worldwide, thanks also to the appeals that you have being supporting and that we will continue to share
October 27 2019
Ruben will NOT be executed on October 30th! Thanks to all those who signed the petitions

GOOD NEWS: The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals just granted a stay of execution for Ruben Gutierrez

Cameron County courts completely bungled the legal process dealing with the execution warrant
September 6 2019

Despite thousands of appeals for clemency, Billy Crutsinger was executed yesterday. Pain and disdain for this horror. Let’s keep on struggling to stop the death penalty

Thanks to all those who joined our appeals
March 15 2019
March 14, 2019

Bishops’ Conference Committee Chairman Welcomes Governor of California’s Declaration of Moratorium on Death Penalty

March 15 2019
By Mario marazziti

The death penalty makes everyone guilty. The revolutionary choice of the governor of California who signed the moratorium on capital executions ·

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