Death penalty: official statistics

2010 2010-06-14T19:28:38+0300 1970-01-01T03:00:00+0300 en The Human Rights Center “Viasna” The Human Rights Center “Viasna”
The Human Rights Center “Viasna”

Human rights defenders have finally received an answer of the Ministry of Justice to their inquiry about the number of issued and executed death sentences in 1990-2009.

The ministry didn't provide them with any information about the number of executed sentences, confining itself to statistics concerning the number of enforced sentences.

The numbers are as follows:

1990 – 20 persons;
1991 – 21;
1992 – 24;
1993 – 20;
1994 – 24;
1995 – 37;
1996 – 29;
1997 – 46;
1998 – 47;
199 9 – 13;
2000 – 4;
2001 – 7;
2002 – 4;
2003 – 4;
2004 – 2;
2005 – 2;
2006 – 9;
2007 – 4;
2008 – 2;
2009 – 2.

Thus, the total number of death convicts for 1990-2009 is 321.

The answer of L.Mialhui, Chairperson of the bureau of organization and analytical provision of judicial organs, reads:

'The Ministry of Information of the Republic of Belarus doesn’t possess information about the results of the consideration of the cases with death sentences by cassation and review instances, and about the execution of the death verdicts and pardoning the persons who were sentenced to death. The functions of penalty execution are implemented by the Department of penalty execution of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Republic of Belarus.'

Bear in mind that human rights defenders have already addressed the Ministry of Justice, the Supreme Court and the General Procuracy with similar inquiries, but the aforementioned state agencies just passed the function of voicing the statistics on one another.

'I think that our society must know the official statistics on the number of passed verdicts as well as the number of executions. Presidential Decree #186 of 12 April 2004, Enumeration of the data that constitute the state secret of the Republic of Belarus doesn't contain any references to the death penalty. That's why this information must be given publicity,' commented Valiantsin Stefanovich, a lawyer of the Human Rights Center Viasna.