Rapporteurs urge Belarusian authorities to join the European family of abolitionists

Yves Cruchten (Luxembourg, SOC), general rapporteur of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) on the abolition of the death penalty, and Andrea Rigoni (Italy, ALDE), PACE rapporteur on the situation in Belarus, have deplored the death sentence handed down on Kiryl Kazachok by a Belarusian court.

“This is very worrying news coming after the four executions that were carried out in Belarus late last year. It sends yet another negative signal to the Council of Europe and the Parliamentary Assembly, for whom strong opposition to the death penalty is a matter of principle.”

“We urge the Belarusian authorities to join the European family of abolitionists by first introducing, as a matter of urgency, a moratorium on executions. Nothing in the Belarusian Constitution or legislation would prevent President Lukashenko or the Parliament from taking this step. A moratorium is simply a question of political will,” they pointed out.

Mr Rigoni also regretted that the conference on the abolition of the death penalty and public opinion recently organised by the Council of Europe in co-operation with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Belarus (13 December) had not brought tangible results. He urged the authorities to take dialogue seriously and to immediately halt all executions.