Death row inmate Berazhny executed

Death row inmate Syamyon Berazhny has been executed, the Vyasha Human Rights Center announced Tuesday, referring to the convict’s relatives.

In addition, the mother of another death row inmate, Ihar Hershankow, has not received letters from her son for a month. 

On July 21, 2017, the Mahilyow Regional Court sentenced Messrs. Hershankow and Berazhny to death and also sentenced Tatsyana Hershankow, Mr. Hershankow's wife, to 24 years in prison and Barys Kalesnikaw to 22 years in prison after finding them guilty of murdering at least six people to take possession of their housing. 

The quartet reportedly persuaded people with a drinking problem who lived by themselves to swap their apartments for smaller ones and cash. 

According to the prosecution, the four persons took their victims to apartments that they had rented for a day and told them that it was their new home. 

Once all the paperwork was completed, they suggested celebrating. They added sleeping pills to the alcohol that their victims were drinking and then took them to abandoned places, killed and buried them. However, some of the victims are believed to have been buried alive. 

On December 20, 2017, the Supreme Court of Belarus upheld the death sentences for Messrs. Hershankow and Berazhny. 

More than 400 people have been sentenced to death and executed in Belarus since the country acquired independence in 1991. Alyaksandr Lukashenka is known to have pardoned only one death row inmate. 
In an interview published by the government-controlled newspaper Sovetskaya Belorussiya in February 2017, Valyantsin Sukala, chairperson of the Supreme Court of Belarus, said that judges had to use the death penalty as long as it was a sentencing option.