EU ‘actively engaged with Belarus on death penalty’, says Annual Report on Human Rights and Democracy
In 2017, the EU actively engaged with the Belarusian authorities on the death penalty and took action to raise awareness, as Belarus remained the only country in Europe that still applied the death penalty, Annual Report on Human Rights and Democracy said.
According to the Report, the issue of capital punishment was “consistently raised with retentionist countries and featured on the EU agendas of political dialogues or dedicated human rights dialogues.” These included Belarus, Indonesia, Iran, Japan, Malaysia, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, and the USA. Based on the minimum standards defined by international law and the EU guidelines on the death penalty, the EU issued a number of public statements deploring the use of the death penalty, and “called on the remaining retentionist countries to consider a moratorium.”
During 2017, a number of high level meetings involving the Belarusian Parliament, central and regional authorities, NGOs and international experts were held to discuss the issue in public in Hrodna and Brest.
The Report also stresses EU’s vital role in extending the mandate of the Special Rapporteur on Belarus at the 35th session of the Human Rights Council in June 2017.