Belarus Sentences Minsk Metro Bombers to Death

Posted November 30th, 2011 at 1:30 pm (UTC-5)
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The Belarus Supreme Court has sentenced two men to death for their part in a deadly bombing of the Minsk metro station in April that killed 15 people and injured more than 200 others.

The judge said Wednesday that Dmitry Konovalov and Vladislav Kovalyov present an extreme danger to society and thus require the ultimate punishment — death by execution.

Konovalov and Kovalyov, both 25 years old, were arrested three days after the April 11 explosion, which took place on a packed metro platform during the evening rush-hour. Belarus authorities have also linked the pair to other nonfatal bombings in 2005 and 2008.

Rights activists had called on authorities in the former Soviet republic not to impose the death sentence. An Amnesty International researcher expressed shock at, in her words, the “cynicism” of the judgment.

Amnesty says it has concerns about the investigation, namely the speed with which the case was announced resolved and that the two suspects confessed to not only masterminding the April metro bombing but others as well.

Belarus is the only country in Europe to have retained the use of capital punishment.