Council of Europe Secretary General criticizes death penalty sentences in Belarus

2010 2010-05-18T15:27:10+0300 1970-01-01T03:00:00+0300 en The Human Rights Center “Viasna” The Human Rights Center “Viasna”
The Human Rights Center “Viasna”

Practicing death penalty remains an obstacle in Belarus–Council of Europe relations.

On May 14, the Hrodna region court sentenced two dwellers of Hrodna to death. They were found guilty of the murder of three persons with extreme cruelty and accompanied, robbery with beating which caused grave bodily damage, intentional damage to property, and abduction of a child. The verdict hasn’t taken legal effect and can be appealed against to the Supreme Court within ten days.

The leadership of the Council of Europe expressed concern about the recent death sentences in Belarus, BelaPAN reports.

“These sentences add to the urgency to have a moratorium on capital punishment,” Secretary General Thorbjorn Jagland said. “The use of death penalty continues to be a key obstacle in the relations of Belarus with the Council of Europe. We are ready to provide assistance to resolve this issue and to help Belarus become closer to Council of Europe standards of human rights.”

The President of the Committee of Ministers, Antonio Miloshoski and PACE President Mevlut Cavusoglu called on the authorities of Belarus to commute the death sentences, the Council of Europe press service reports.