Belarus is the last country in Europe and former Soviet Union that is still carrying out the death penalty. Amnesty International, Human Rights Centre “Viasna”, Belarusian Helsinki Committee and other human rights defenders in Belarus oppose the death penalty in all cases without exception. The death penalty is a violation of the right to life, guaranteed by the Constitution of Belarus and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Nothing can justify the purposeful and ruthless taking of a human life by State.
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After World War II the international community rethought the value of each human life and declared the right to life of every human being regardless of the social status. In 1971, a UN resolution was the first step towards the universal abolition of the death penalty. To date, the total number of countries that have abolished the death penalty in law or do not use it in practice is 140 out of 192.
Belarus is the last country in Europe and the post-Soviet space that continues using the death penalty towards its citizens every year. Despite the commitments as a member of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) to "provide the public with information regarding the use of the death penalty", all information on passed and enforced sentences remains classified.
The European Union and the Council of Europe have condemned the death sentence pronounced yesterday in Viciebsk.
The Viciebsk Regional Court has sentenced Viktar Paulau, 50, to death finding him guilty of double murder committed in December 2018.
Belarus is the only country in Europe and among post-Soviet states that stills executes people. The people here are killed by shooting in the back of the head. Despite the widely recognized fact that the death penalty does not work as a deterrent and is an apparent vestige of the Middle Ages, the conveyor of death continues to operate, while the veil of secrecy and the inhuman treatment to the families of death row prisoners are reminiscent of the Stalin-era repression.