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Protest over Belarus executions.

Byline: Nicola Stow

BELARUS protesters will lie in body bags at the Edinburgh spot where grisly public executions took place in a protest against the death penalty in their own country.

Scores of campaigners are expected to lie on the cobbles of the Grassmarket later this month for the Give a Body Back campaign.

They will zip themselves up in white bags and lie for one hour close to the Last Drop Pub, outside whose windows public hangings were held until 1864. The line of bagged bodies will represent the "disappeared" people of Belarus.

They include Vladislav Kovalyov and Dmitry Konovalov, who were executed for their alleged involvement in a bombing in Minsk in April 2011. Their bodies have never been returned to their families.

Among the campaigners taking part in the Edinburgh event is Natalia Kaliada, 39, who was held in a Belarus prison after being arrested during political protests following the re-election of Alexander Lukashenko.

Natalia is calling on the people of Edinburgh - and visitors - to join in the protest on August 20.

She said: "Belarus is the last country in Europe to still carry the death penalty, but people are executed despite no evidence being found to convict them.

"We're doing this in the middle of the Fringe Festival, which attracts an international audience, so hopefully our message will reach people from all over the world.

"We would love people to join in - we can provide a body bag for anyone wishing to take part."


Prisoner Natalia Kaliada
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Geographic Code:4EXBE
Date:Jul 31, 2013
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