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PACE: Abolition Of Death Penalty In Belarus Is A Matter Of Political Will

The abolition of the death penalty in Belarus is a matter of political will, a joint statement of PACE special rapporteurs reads.

In it, Yves Cruchten, General Rapporteur on abolition of the death penalty, and Andrea Rigoni, rapporteur on the situation in Belarus, condemned two new death sentences handed down in Belarus.

“It’s time to stop this practice,” the statement reads. “PACE reaffirms its absolute rejection of the death penalty, which it regards as an act of torture and inhuman treatment, and, undoubtedly, the most serious of all violations of human rights.”

The rapporteurs have again called on the Belarusian authorities to join the European abolitionist family and impose a moratorium on the death penalty.

“Nothing in the Constitution or the legislation of Belarus prevents President Lukashenko or the parliament from taking this step,” PACE said.

Earlier, similar statement were made by Secretary General of the Council of Europe Thorbjørn Jagland and EU spokeswoman Maja Kocijancic.

On 21 July Mogilev regional court passed death sentences to the two of four members of the “black realtors” gang. Ihar Hershankow (Ihar Hershankou) and Syamyon Berazhny (Siamion Berazhny) were sentenced to death for six murders linked to a real estate scam.

Other gang members were punished with lengthy imprisonment.