Double homicide: Another death sentence looming in Belarus?

On January 8, a double homicide case is being presented in Babruysk court. The defendant is an ex-con who served 12 years for previous crimes.

According to the theory of the prosecution, Alyaksandr Asipovich, a 36-year-old resident of Babruysk, brutally killed two girls on July 20, 2018. The man met them in a cafe, where they had some drinks, and then the trio headed to the man’s place. Asipovich stabbed and hammered the girls to death. Their bodies bearing multiple cuts and injuries were found in the bathroom.

The defendant fully realized what was happening at the moment of the murder; he even tried to cover up the crime, state prosecutor Volha Ivanova said. His turning himself to the police cannot be a mitigating factor, she stressed.

The state prosecutor demands the supreme penalty (execution) should be inflicted on Asipovich.

Belarus remains the only country in Europe that still applies capital punishment. The West has repeatedly called on the Belarusian authorities to join a global moratorium as a first step towards the abolition of the death penalty.

The exact number of executions in Belarus is unknown, but local human rights defenders and journalists have worked tirelessly to uncover some information about death sentences and executions. According to the Ministry of Justice of Belarus, 245 people were sentenced to death from 1994 to 2014. Human rights NGOs believe that around 400 people have been executed since the country gained its independence in 1991; president Alyaksandr Lukashenka granted a pardon to only one convict.


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