Who Needs Death Penalty?
On October 9, on the eve of the World Day against the Death Penalty, the presentation of a book by Valery Filipau “Who Needs the Death Penalty” was held at the office of the Belarusian Association of Journalists. Beside the author, floor was taken by a Moscow representative of “Penal Reform International” Sergey Shamovolos, and Chairperson of the Belarusian Association of Journalists" Zhana Litvina.
“The BAJ office is not an incidental place to host the book presentation”, stated Zhana Litvina. According to her, the Belarusian Association of Journalists undertook to contribute to the emergence and dissemination of information on the death penalty in the media.
In addition, according to Zhana Litvina, the problem of the death penalty has recently acquired a new meaning. "Today Belarus is interested in the restoration of its status in the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe. And this is connected with the performance of the fundamental requirements the abolition of the death penalty, or at least introducing a moratorium on it. We hope that the discussion on this topic, which now involves the highest officials, will be fruitful, will bring Belarus closer to Europe and contribute to our country's entry into the European institutions", said Head of the Belarusian Association of Journalists.
The main occupation of Valery Filipau, the author of the book "Who Needs the Death Penalty" is physics. He is a doctor of physical and mathematical sciences, engaged in scientific and social activities. Mr. Filipau is also a member of the national public association "Legal Initiative".
The author explains his interest in the subject of the death penalty byhis heart's will: "It is known that the human rights issues were addressed by the world-famous physicists and mathematicians, and there were especially a lot of them among Russian dissidents. So, science favours human rights work."
In 2001, Valery Filipau has already published a collection of articles, "Death Penalty. Yes? No!”. He is also the author of the scientific publication "Abolition of the Death Penalty in Belarus", which saw the light in 2004 and has been reprinted twice since then.
The book "Who Needs the Death Penalty" has 120 pages with photos and is a popular scientific publication designed for a wide range of readers. The author examines the emotional arguments in favor of the death penalty, ponders whether our society is ready for its abolition and whether the existence of the death penalty is a deterrent for crimes.
The book presents the author's views on the political aspect of the problem and the position of the church on this issue. In a separate section he also presents views of philosophers and writers on the subject. The author also tries to find out whether life imprisonment can present an alternative to the death penalty. For the first time in the human rights literature he raised the topic of "death penalty and terrorism".
The book "Who Needs the Death Penalty", was published in the edition of 3,500 copies and is distributed free of charge. According to the author, the publication will soon be available online at www.smertnoykazni.net.
So, do we need the death penalty in Belarus today? “I don't give a direct answer”, says Valery Filipau. “Let the readers consider all my arguments and decide for themselves. I only listed those who are interested in retaining the death penalty."
The publication of the new book became possible thanks to the project of the European Union "Promotion of the abolition of the death penalty and the development of alternatives to the punishment that meet international standards of human rights in the Republic of Belarus", implemented by "Penal Reform International."
Bear in mind that Belarus remains the only country in Europe where the state carries out the death penalty.