EU urges Belarus to introduce moratorium on death penalty

The Belarusian Supreme Court upheld the death sentence against Syarhei Vostrykau, a 34-year-old resydent of Homiel, who brutally killed two women.

This is the fourth confirmation by the Belarusian Supreme Court of a death sentence in 2016. It follows the execution of Syarhei Ivanou in April as well as two other death sentences (the cases of Henadz Yakavitski and Syarhei Khmyaleuski) this year. In its statement dated by October 4, the European Union reaffirms its strong opposition to capital punishment and once again urges the Belarusian authorities to introduce a moratorium on the death penalty as a first step towards its abolition.

“The death penalty is an inhumane and degrading treatment, does not have any proven deterrent effect, and makes judicial errors irreversible. The continued application of capital punishment runs counter to Belarus’ stated willingness to consider the introduction of a moratorium on the use of the death penalty. This is also a commitment made by Belarus in response to recommendations made by the UN Human Rights Council in the Universal Periodic Review,” the statement reads.

Belarus is the only country in Europe still applying capital punishment. Since 1991, over 400 persons have been sentenced to death in the country.

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