President of the Nordic Council strongly condemns the executions in Belarus
State television ONT reported Saturday from Minsk that both Uladzislaw Kavalyou and Dzmitry Kanavalau have been executed.
“The death penalty is cruel. Executing the two men have further damaged the reputation of Belarus and it shows how far removed the country is at present from European values”, says the President of the Nordic Council, Kimmo Sasi, Finland.
"The two men were accused of very serious crimes, but the death penalty nevertheless runs counter to the legal principles that protect human rights in Europe. There is also reason to doubt whether the trial was fair”.
The trial and death penalty followed a bomb attack on a subway station in Minsk in April 2011, in which twelve people lost their lives and over 150 were injured.
Jean-Claude Mignon, the President of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE), has also issued a statement strongly criticizing the death penalty, not only because the death penalty is wrong in principle but also because of the many questions about the fairness of their trial. Belarus is the only country in Europe that has not ratified the European Convention on Human Rights.