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Belarus Executes Three Inmates In One Month, Human Rights Group Says

Previous information from human rights defenders about the execution of Henadz Yakavitski, one of the four Belarusian death sentence convicts, has been confirmed, TUT.BY reports on Thursday. 

He was executed on November 5, 2016 with two other inmates – Ivan Kulesh, 28, and Siarhei Khmialeuski, 31, whose executions were confirmed a few days ago.

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A verdict of the Minsk Regional Court of 5 January 2016 sentenced Henadz Yakavitski, 49, to death, finding him guilty of murdering his partner committed with particular cruelty. On April 8, the Supreme Court confirmed the sentence.

Yakavitski had been already convicted of murder during the Soviet era. At that time he was sentenced to death, but after he lodged a complaint to the Supreme Court, the death sentence was changed to a term in jail. As there was no life imprisonment in the Soviet Union, and the maximum term of imprisonment did not exceed 15 years.

Amnesty International issued an urgent appeal in support of Yakavitski, urging President Lukashenko to stop executions in Belarus. However, the appeal brought no results, the unregistered human rights groupViasna reports.

The execution of Henadz Yakavitski is the third one carried in Belarus in November and fourth carried out in 2016. At present there is one death sentence convict in the country.

Belarus remains the only country in Europe still applying death penalty. The Council of Europe and other international organizations have many times called on the Belarusian authorities to introduce a moratorium on capital punishment.

Since 1990 over 400 people were sentenced to death penalty in Belarus. In 26 years only one person had his death sentence commuted.