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Ex-leader of Belarus Hryb signs anti-death penalty petition

2009 2009-01-27T22:45:54+0200 1970-01-01T03:00:00+0300 en The Human Rights Center “Viasna” The Human Rights Center “Viasna”
The Human Rights Center “Viasna”

The former head of the Supreme Soviet of Belarus (1994-1996) and member of the oppositional Social Democratic Hramada Party Mechyslau Hryb was the first politician to join the public campaign aimed at the abolition of capital punishment in the country.

In 1985 Hryb was appointed head investigator in the case of serial murders in Vitsebsk and could witness the inefficiency of death penalty after 14 persons were illegally convicted of brutal murder, one of them being sentenced to extreme penalty and exexuted.

Signing the petition to the Belarusian government, Mechyslay Hryb expressed his attitude towards the issue:

‘The problem is not a new one – it has been considered for decades. On 24 November 1996 the death penalty was supported by the people of Belarus at a nation-wide referendum, condemned by numerous experts, both Belarusian and international ones. Still, many citizens of Belarus do believe that capital punishment can be used in case of most brutal crimes. The punishment is provided by a number of articles of the existing Criminal Code of Belarus.

However, we should not put up with the situation. International human rights organizations have repeatedly suggested abolishing death penalty in Belarus. The recommendation is supported by key EU structures.

Now, there is a campaign against capital punishment in Belarus.

Having served over 36 years in law enforcement bodies of Belarus, I have arrived at a conclusion that death penalty MUST be abolished and the campaign is worth trying.

Any violent death, including death penalty, is a murder, albeit ruled out by an authorized court of judges.

But judges are human beings and they can make mistakes and their decisions cannot be absolute. The mistakes can be corrected, but in case of death penalty is used they are irreparable.

We, human beings, should remember about it, for a human life is the most valuable thing on Earth.’

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