EU, OSCE PA condemn new death sentence in Belarus

2019 2019-10-29T14:40:01+0300 2019-10-29T14:40:02+0300 en The Human Rights Center “Viasna” The Human Rights Center “Viasna”
The Human Rights Center “Viasna”

“A moratorium on executions in Belarus would be a positive first step towards the abolition of the death penalty in the country,” a statement by Maja Kocijancic, European Union Spokesperson for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy/European Neighborhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations, said in response to the death sentence handed down by the Brest Regional Court.

The European Union expressed its “sincere sympathy to all those affected by the crime,” but said it “opposes capital punishment in all circumstances” as “an inhumane and ineffective punishment, that fails to act as a deterrent.”

Kyriakos Hadjiyianni and Michael Georg Link, Chair and Vice-Chair of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly’s human rights committee, called for authorities in Minsk to halt the execution of Viktar Serhil.

“Despite the gruesome nature of this crime, it must be emphasized that the death penalty is ineffective and inhumane, and this is why it has been abolished in every European country except Belarus,” they said in a statement. “We urge the Belarusian authorities to commute this sentence, to introduce without delay a moratorium on the death penalty, and ultimately to join the 55 other OSCE participating States that have abolished this inhumane punishment.”