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“Upsurge In Executions Is Against Commitment With UN”: Europe Comments On Death Penalty In Belarus

Steps taken by Belarus to respect universal fundamental freedoms, including on the death penalty, will remain key for the shaping of the EU’s future policy towards Belarus, EU Federica Mogherini said commenting on the recent executions in Belarus. 

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Picture: Reuters

“Today, we have learnt of yet another execution that has taken place in Belarus, that of Henadz Yakavitski. Earlier this week, the executions of two others, Ivan Kulesh and Sergei Khmelevsky, were confirmed, adding to that of Syarhey Iwanov in April”, the statement, released on December 1, notes.

Mogherini underlined that the upsurge in executions in 2016 is “against the commitment, made by Belarusian authorities within the framework of the United Nations, to consider the introduction of a moratorium on the use of the death penalty”.

She added that the European Union opposes capital punishment because this type of punishment fails to act as a deterrent to crime and represents an unacceptable denial of human dignity and integrity.

“Steps taken by Belarus to respect universal fundamental freedoms, rule of law and human rights, including on the death penalty, will remain key for the shaping of the EU’s future policy towards Belarus”, the EU High Representative/Vice-President concluded.

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 appealed to the Belarusian authorities many times urging them to introduce a moratorium on capital punishment.