April 18, 2014
Belarus has executed a man convicted of a gruesome double murder, a rights group said Friday, the latest case of capital punishment in the ex-Soviet country.
Pavel Selyun had been found guilty of murdering his wife and her lover in August 2012 after he found out they were having an affair.
He had decapitated the man and stuffed his body down a rubbish chute, but took his head with him as he fled town and still had it when he was arrested on a train.
Last year a court sentenced Selyun, 23, to death, a punishment that is usually carried out in secret by shooting in the back of the head.
The execution, the first of 2014, was apparently carried out in recent days, although Selyun’s lawyer and family found out only on Friday.
“Today the mother of Pavel Selyun found out from the lawyer that the punishment had been carried out,” rights group Viasna said in a statement. “The lawyer went to meet the defendant but was told by prison officials that Selyun ‘had left in accordance with the sentence’.”
“In other words, that means he was executed,” it said.
Belarus is the only country in Europe to administer the death penalty.
Last September the Supreme Court confirmed the sentence in Selyun’s case, however the defence filed a complaint over the decision and was awaiting a response when the execution took place.