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5 Death Sentences Handed Down In Belarus In 2017 – Supreme Court Of Belarus

Belarusian courts handed down five death sentences and three life sentences in 2017.

Belarus is the only country in Europe still applying death penalty.

The information was made public by Belarusian Supreme Court First Deputy Chairman Valery Kalinkovich.

“Five people received death sentences and three people got life sentences in 2017,” Kalinkovich said at a press conference in Minsk on Wednesday, 31 January.

Who are they?

On March 17, the Gomel regional court sentenced the 32-year-old resident of Narovly to death. Alexey Mikhalenya killed two pensioners.

At trial, the man said that he had come to his neighbours to ask for scissors but was allegedly attacked and had to defend himself.

Read also: Abolition of death penalty in Belarus is a matter of political will – PACE

Before the incident in Narovly, Mikhalenya had already been tried for murder. The criminal is currently on the death row.

In the summer of 2017, the Mogilev Regional Court sentenced two defendants of the resonant murder case to death.

“Black Realtors” Igor Gershankov and Semen Berezhnoy were found guilty of six murders and preparation of another one, kidnappings, fraud.

Residents of Mogilev appealed the verdict, but in December the Supreme Court left it unchanged.

Europe Urges Belarus To Ban Death Penalty. Again

Another death sentence passed by the Vitebsk Regional Court was reported by the human rights center “Viasna”.

According to unconfirmed reports, a man was sentenced to death for killing a cellmate. The verdict was not appealed and came into force.

Read also: “More and More people support moratorium”. Is Belarus getting ready to ban death penalty?

The fifth criminal is 40-year-old Cyril Kazatchk, who was sentenced to death for killing his two children.

The verdict was pronounced on December 28, 2016, and came into force already in 2017.

The only country in Europe

Belarus is the only country in Europe still applying death penalty.

The Criminal Code of the Republic of Belarus states that all executions are by “firing squad.”  Data on the use of the death penalty is classified as a state secret.

The Council of Europe and other international organizations have repeatedly called on the Belarusian authorities to introduce a moratorium on capital punishment – with no effect.

For the last 25 years 258 people were executed in Belarus.

Source: TUT.BY