EU "reaffirms strong opposition to capital punishment" in response to new execution in Belarus
The European Union has condemned the recent execution of death row prisoner Aliaksandr Zhylnikau in Belarus and urged the authorities to introduce a moratorium on the application of the death penalty.
"The European Union expresses its sincere sympathy to the families and friends of the victims of the crimes committed. At the same time, the EU reaffirms its strong opposition to capital punishment in all circumstances and calls on Belarus to introduce a moratorium on executions as a first step towards abolition," Maja Kocijancic, Spokesperson for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy/European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations, said in a statement.
The statement stresses that the death penalty violates the inalienable right to life enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and is the ultimate cruel, inhuman and degrading punishment. "The continued application of the death penalty goes counter Belarus' international commitments," the EU said.