Belarusian MPs: «Death penalty is an internal affair of Belarus»

«The resolution of the European Parliament on death penalty in Belarus is nothing but a continuation of its pressure tactic on the Belarusian authorities and interference with the domestic affairs of the country,» a press release of the Belarusian House of Representatives’ permanent commissions on international affairs and relations with the CIS, legislation and legal issues reads.

«It produces the impression that European MPs care less about reliability of the facts and validity of conclusion,» the statement says.

This is the way that Belarusian MPs have reacted to the EP resolution on Belarus accepted on February 16, 2012 in Strasbourg. It condemns the death sentences handed down to Dzmitry Kanavalau and Uladzislau Kavaliou by the Supreme Court on November 30, 2011 and urges Alexander Lukashenka to pardon both men and to impose a moratorium on all death sentences and executions with a view to abolishing the death penalty from the penal system.

«The investigation of the case was maximally open including to the media. Referring to some anonymous observers of the trial, the authors of the resolution mention serious procedural violations throughout the juridical examination,» Belarusian MPs stressed.

«The Republic of Belarus adheres to its international commitments. According to the Criminal Code of Belarus, capital punishment is allowed only for crimes related to first-degree murders and prohibited for execution in regard to women, minors and men over 65,» parliamentarians noted. «In this regard we state that abolition of the death penalty is an internal affair of the Republic of Belarus. Any decision on this issue is possible only taking into account the opinion of the Belarusian people,» they added.

The Belarusian Ministry of Foreign Affairs expressed «outrage» over the European Parliament’s resolution urging Alexander Lukashenka to pardon Dzmitry Kanavalau and Uladzislau Kavaliou.

«The European Parliament has de facto taken sides with the terrorists, questioning in an incompetent manner the conclusions, determinations and decisions made by the Belarusian court in the terror trial,» the Ministry said in a statement issued on February 17, 2012. «In addition, the European Parliament is flagrantly interfering with the administration of justice in a sovereign state, which is no compliment to it,» the Ministry said.


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