Minsk: Information center of Council of Europe launches campaign against death penalty

2009 2009-10-12T22:21:48+0300 1970-01-01T03:00:00+0300 en http://spring96.org/files/images/sources/evrosoyuz2.jpg The Human Rights Center “Viasna” The Human Rights Center “Viasna”
The Human Rights Center “Viasna”

On 10 October, the World Day against the Death Penalty, the Council of Europe’s information centre in Minsk launched a campaign on abolition of the death penalty.

As BelaPAN was informed by the director of the information centre Ihar Horski, 45-second TV clip would me demonstrated at Belarusian TV channels within the framework of the campaign. Its essence is that death penalty is not deterrence for criminals. This clip will also be demonstrated at liquid-crystal displays in administrative buildings and business-centers in Minsk. The public service advertising is to be placed at billboards in the capital and in regional capitals including universities.

Over the last 30 years, the Council of Europe has been striving to abolish death penalty in Europe. Over the last 10 years not a single death execution has taken place in any out of 47 countries of the Council of Europe. In most of these countries death penalty is banned by law. The Council of Europe finds it necessary to stop this practice in Europe and continues to push for the death penalty abolition worldwide.

At the moment Belarus is the only country in Europe where death executions still take place. Before the World Day against the Death Penalty, Amnesty International held rallies in front of the Belarusian embassies in Moscow, Kyiv and Chisinau.

During the action a petition with an appeal to impose moratorium on death penalties and executions, and to commute the sentences of all prisoners sentenced to death to terms of imprisonment, was handed to embassies.

It should be noted that the EU and the Council of Europe many times called upon the Belarusian authorities to abolish death penalty or declare moratorium on the use of the death penalty in Belarus.

Besides, in June the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe adopted a resolution according to which the Belarusian parliament could regain its Special Guest status in the PACE if Belarus imposed moratorium on death penalty.