Two new executions in Belarus, of Viktar Lyotaw and Alyaksey Mikhalenya, have reportedly taken place in secret in mid-May 2018, while the death sentences handed down to Vyachaslaw Sukharka and Alyaksandr Zhylnikaw were upheld by the Supreme Court of Belarus today.
The continued application of the death penalty runs counter to Belarus’ stated willingness to engage with the international community, including the European Union, on the matter and to consider the introduction of a moratorium on its use. Tangible steps taken by Belarus to respect universal human rights, including on the death penalty, are key for shaping the EU’s future policy towards Belarus.
The European Union strongly and unequivocally opposes capital punishment in all circumstances according to a Statement of the Spokesperson on the application of the death penalty in Belarus. The death penalty violates the inalienable right to life enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and is a cruel, inhuman and degrading punishment. Furthermore, the death penalty does not act as a deterrent to crime and any error of judgement is impossible to correct.