MP: life sentence can be as inhuman as death penalty

2010 2010-02-10T17:57:36+0200 1970-01-01T03:00:00+0300 en The Human Rights Center “Viasna” The Human Rights Center “Viasna”
The Human Rights Center “Viasna”

Members of the House of Representatives think it may take ten years to abolish the death penalty.

‘Life sentence may be not less humane than capital punishment’, Hanna Liavitskaya, member of the House of Representatives, said at the European Values, a round table discussion with participation of Belarusian officials, NGOs and representatives of the Council of Europe, held in Minsk on 4-5 February.

According to MP Anatoly Hlaz, a member of a working group on death penalty, the country shouldn’t hurry to abolish it.

‘It takes centuries to form values of a nation. We’ve got one, but it cannot be changed in accordance with European values within five or ten years, or a year. We should move gradually in this direction,’ Hlaz said.

To a question if the Parliament was ready to abolish the death penalty in the nearest time, Anatoly Hlaz answered the MPs hadn’t discussed the issue. However, the working group is seeking for variants, its first sittings is to be held this week.

In any case, death penalty can be abolished only after moratorium, Anatoly Hlaz thinks.

‘I’d like to emphasize that even if a positive decision is made, the process will have some steps. The first step is moratorium, but not abolition,’ the MP said.

We remind that the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe said in June 2009 Belarus could restore its guest status in the assembly only after moratorium on death penalty was imposed.

Belarus is the only European country not represented in the Council of Europe. It doesn’t even have a guest status. 47 countries, including all Belarus’ neighbors, are represented in the Council of Europe. It means that their citizens can apply to the European Court of Human Rights against violation of their rights by governmental bodies.