"Strength is in mercy!" Human rights activists ask to abolish the death penalty in the DPR

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"Strength is in mercy!" Human rights activists ask to abolish the death penalty in the DPR
"Strength is in mercy!" Human rights activists ask to abolish the death penalty in the DPR
17 August, 11:42SocietyPhoto: Соцсети
Russian public figures reminded the President of the Russian Federation that the Russian Empress Elizabeth was the first in Europe to abolish the death penalty in the middle of the 18th century.

A group of Russian human rights activists and public figures turned to Putin with an open letter. At the same time, it was posted on the Change.org petition site, but, unfortunately, it collected less than 1,000 signatures there, which eloquently testifies to the wild state of Russian society, since it is about human life.

Activists are very alarmed by reports of a possible imminent execution of death sentences handed down in the DPR, and in their letter they appeal to such names as Leo Tolstoy and Empress Elizabeth, who were principled opponents of the death penalty. So, Elizabeth, by her Decree of May 7 (18), 1744, suspended the use of the death penalty in Russia, ahead of even Western Europe, in which this measure of punishment was first abolished by the Grand Duke of Tuscany Peter Leopold only in 1786.

The letter also cites the words of the hero of the famous battle of the naval forces of the Russian and Ottoman empires at Ochakovo, the Minister of Marine, Academician of the Russian Academy, Admiral Count Nikolai Semyonovich Mordvinov, who wrote:

“The judge pronouncing the death sentence involuntarily feels a shudder: is this not a reminder to him by his conscience that he is taking upon himself what does not belong to him? The moral and universal law, which forbids killing the unarmed, should it change in its rightness in application to society, but the chained, deprived of liberty, put to death, due to its impossibility to be further harmful - is not the victim useless and innocent?

“We are proud that there is no death penalty in Russia,” the authors of the letter write. - The strength of our people is in mercy. We ask you for mercy. We consider it necessary to abolish the death penalty in the Donetsk People's Republic. We ask you to propose to the head of the Donetsk People's Republic to extend the moratorium on the use of the death penalty in the Donetsk People's Republic…”

Eva Mikhailovna Merkacheva, journalist, human rights activist;

Alexander Igorevich Bufetov, mathematician, professor of the Russian Academy of Sciences;

Yaroslav Viktorovich Kudryavtsev, chemist, professor of the Russian Academy of Sciences;

Natalia Leonidovna Evdokimova, human rights activist; Alexander Grigoryevich Asmolov, Soviet and Russian teacher, academician;

Alexander Nikolaevich Sokurov, director;

Nikolai Nikolaevich Rozanov, physicist, academician of the Russian Academy of Sciences;

Svetlana Anatolyevna Burlak, linguist, professor;

Alexander Vladimirovich Chaplik, physicist, academician of the Russian Academy of Sciences;

Zoya Feliksovna Svetova, journalist.

In addition to this letter, Eva Merkacheva writes in her channel:

“Once I met a man who, during the years of the USSR, carried out death sentences in Moscow. He was then already over 80 (I don’t know if he is alive now). We talked with him for at least an hour. It was an interview. He was ready to talk about everything, especially about how he fought at the front. Proud. But he did not even want to remember his work as a "performer". He tensed up and seemed to be changing from questions about It. "But why?" I thought then. Didn't he think that he was doing his duty and that all those executed were terrible criminals, not worthy of life? Considered. And at the same time, he clearly understood that there was definitely nothing to be proud of here. Most likely, he subconsciously felt that this was unnatural, and was ashamed of it. He did not want his name to be associated with executions.

After that, I studied the topic of execution of death sentences. This was always done at night. The condemned were often taken to the place of execution in vans with the inscription "Bread". Members of the "executive groups" did not talk about their "bloody mission" either to their colleagues in their main work or at home (they officially worked in the system of the Ministry of Internal Affairs). And again - why was everything done secretly?

I have one answer. The state and society were unconsciously ashamed of what they were doing. I remember a story about a supervising prosecutor who was part of a "group" and refused to receive a "bonus" for each performance. He said that this was “money for blood”, which confused the accounting department: “How to write off?” But he was adamant. In general, at the time of execution, the performer crosses the line that is forbidden for any person (in fact, he officially stands on the same level as the one he shoots). The death penalty is a pathology. God forbid that it becomes the norm and order. PS some numbers. In the USSR in 1985, 407 sentences were executed, in 1989 186 were executed. In Russia in 1991 - 59, in 1992 - 18, in 1993 - 10, and in 1994 - only 2 (out of 154). For more than 20 years there have been no death sentences in Russia…”

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