The use of the death penalty in Belarus was condemned in a European Parliament
resolution on February 16 2012, highlighting the death sentences handed down to
Dzmitry Kanavalau and Uladzislau Kavalyou by the Belarus supreme court on
The European Parliament resolution urged Belarus president Alexander Lukashenko
to pardon both men and to impose a moratorium on all death sentences and
executions with a view to abolishing the death penalty from the penal system.
The 2 men were sentenced for allegedly committing terrorist attacks in 2005,
2008 and 2011 in Vitebsk and Minsk, but according to reports by human rights
organisations (FIDH, Human Rights Watch), there are arguments showing that the
trial was unfair and that the investigation was marred by serious human rights
The executions of the two may be carried out very soon, a European Parliament
Underlining that this "irreversible, cruel, inhumane and degrading punishment,
which violates the right to life", is unacceptable, MEPs deplored the
continuing failure of the Belarusian authorities to take any tangible steps
towards abolishing the death penalty or imposing an immediate moratorium on it.
The MEPs reiterated that the European Union and other international
institutions have repeatedly urged the Belarusian authorities to abolish the
They condemned the continuous persecution of human rights defenders and members
of the democratic opposition and the harassment of civil society activists and
the independent media in Belarus for political reasons and demand the
unconditional immediate release of all political prisoners.
Belarus remains the only country in Europe that imposes the death penalty and
still carries out executions.
(source: Sofia Echo)