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Aliaksei Marachkin: ‘Life is given to us by God and we have no right to take it way, irrespective of how hard one’s crimes are’

Aliaksei Marachkin: ‘Life is given to us by God and we have no right to take it way, irrespective of how hard one’s crimes are’

The well-known Belarusian artist Aliaksei Marachkin, a founder of the association of artist, the chairman of the World Alliance of Belarusians Batskawshchyna, took part in the discussion of the capital punishment. He joined the campaign Human Rights activists against death penalty in Belarus and said why he thought it was necessary to abolish this kind of punishment. Read more…

Amnesty International presents report on death penalty in Minsk

On 24 March the international human rights organization Amnesty International presented its annual report on the use of the death penalty. The report underlines that Belarus is the only European country which still uses the capital punishment. Nicola Duckworth, Director of the AI Program for Europe and Central Asia, stresses that the death penalty is the most inhuman, cruel and degrading form of punishment: ‘There is no room for hanging, beheading, electrocution, lethal injection or lapidating in the 21th century.’ Read more…

Amnesty International to launch reports calling for the abolition of the   death penalty

Amnesty International to launch reports calling for the abolition of the death penalty

On 24 March 2009, Amnesty International will release its global death penalty statistics, looking at how many people were executed or sentenced to death across the world during 2008. On the same day in a separate report, Ending executions in Europe: Towards abolition of the death penalty in Belarus, the human rights organization will call on the last state in Europe and Central Asia that still sentences people to death and executes them to follow the global trend and abolish the death penalty. Read more…

Human rights defenders are concerned with P.Miklashevich’s statement about possible referendum on abolishment of death penalty

Human rights defenders are concerned with P.Miklashevich’s statement about possible referendum on abolishment of death penalty

‘According to the Constitution, abolishment of death penalty in Belarus can be decided only by means of referendum,’ stated the head of the Constitutional Court of Belarus Piatro Miklashevich at the press-conference of 11 March. As said by him, ‘a special provision has been put in the Constitution concerning the abolishment of death penalty’, Interfax informs. Read more…

Human Rights Defenders against Capital Punishment: first results of the campaign

Human Rights Defenders against Capital Punishment: first results of the campaign

The Human Rights Defenders against Capital Punishment in Belarus campaign started a month ago. For this period of time 11 famous people of Belarus signed the petition to the Belarusian authorities: The head of the Supreme Soviet of the Republic of Belarus of the 12th convocation Mechyslau Hryb, the head of the Belarusian Association of Journalists Zhana Litvina, the writers Uladzimir Arlou, Sviatlana Aleksiyevich and Adam Hlobus, the musicians Kasia Kamotskaya, Uladzimir Puhach and Zmitser Vaitsiushkevich, the TV and radio hosts Zinaida Bandarenka, Tamara Lisitskaya and Katsiaryna Pytleva. While signing the petition each of them expressed his/her attitude to this issue and drew arguments for abolishment of death penalty. Read more…

Kasia Kamotskaya: ‘Death penalty is a trait of great backwardness of a country’

Kasia Kamotskaya: ‘Death penalty is a trait of great backwardness of a country’

The leader of the legendary rock-band Novaye Neba and producer of documentaries Kasia Kamotskaya has joined the campaign against death penalty in Belarus and stated that the abolishment of this penalty would be another step of Belarus towards the family of free democratic countries: Read more…

Let’s join Belarus to the world that is free from death penalty

Belarus is the only country on the post-Soviet space where capital punishment still exists, death sentences are issued and convicts are executed. Read more…

Musician Zmitser Vaitsiushkevich joins anti-death penalty campaign

Musician Zmitser Vaitsiushkevich joins anti-death penalty campaign

The famous Belarusian musician Zmitser Vaitsiushkevich has signed the petition for the abolition of capital punishment and named the main reason for doing that. ‘I am joining the campaign against death penalty in this country due to a number of reasons. The main thing is that the innocent are not killed. I would like to support the petition to the Belarusian authorities, because I think that it is high time to understand who we are, where evil comes from and who has the right to judge. These issues are extremely complicated and simple at a time… I do hope that the innocent are not killed, because that is what we have.’ Read more…

Famous Belarusian musician Uladzimir Puhach: ‘To execute a human being for committing a crime is the silliest thing on Earth’

Famous Belarusian musician Uladzimir Puhach: ‘To execute a human being for committing a crime is the silliest thing on Earth’

Uladzimir Puhach, frontman of J:MORC rock band, has joined the public campaign for the abolition of death penalty in Belarus, saying that ‘it is not the gravity of the punishment but its inevitability that keeps a person from committing a crime.’ ‘Mankind has passed through many stages of development. Many things have been invented and many things have been forgotten. This is how the progress comes into being. People used to eat one another – then they gave it up. People used to kill one another and, unfortunately, continue to do so. But I believe that one day people will stop killing each other. And what could be my biggest dream is that one day people will stop killing each other by law. Read more…

Abolition of capital punishment discussed during meeting of Prosecutor General and PACE delegation

On 18 February during a meeting with the Prosecutor General of Belarus the PACE delegation considered the possibility of the abolition of death penalty. According to Deputy Prosecutor General Aliaksei Stuk, the meeting had a working character. ‘We answered all their questions. We discussed the development of democratic legal instruments in the country, along with the administration of justice,’ said Mr.Stuk. Prosecutor General also said the country was moving towards the abolition of capital punishment. The PACE delegation was told that the cases of using the sentence had been scarce over the past few years. ‘Capital punishment is not an end in itself, neither is it an obsession, but a means of protecting the society from extremely dangerous persons,’ said Mr.Stuk. Read more…

Sviatlana Aleksievich: ‘I think our world will always be a world of murderers’

The famous Belarusian writer Svitalana Aleksievich has joined the campaign ‘Human Rights Activists against Capital Punishment’, by signing the petition to the Belarusian authorities. ‘For over 30 years I have been writing my ‘red chronicle’ – my series of books. I have written about war. I was in Afghanistan and saw people being killed… I have always thought about how people can live together knowing they can kill each other at any time, that is do God’s work. Since no one has the right to do this. Read more…

Ales Bialiatski: ‘Registration or non-registration of ‘Nasha Viasna’ is the indicator of the readiness of the authorities to change their policy towards NGOs’

Ales Bialiatski: ‘Registration or non-registration of ‘Nasha Viasna’ is the indicator of the readiness of the authorities to change their policy towards NGOs’

Mr. Ales! At present the Belarusian mass media actively discuss the information that the documents for registration of the human rights association Nasha Viasna, among the founders of which there are members of the liquidated by the authorities Human Rights Center Viasna, have been passed to the Ministry of Justice. Read more…

Famous TV announcer Bandarenka joins anti-death penalty campaign

Famous TV announcer Bandarenka joins anti-death penalty campaign

Zinaida Bandarenka, Honoured artist of Belarus, says the state should implement its humanistic commitments de-facto. ‘I think that there should be no executions in the Christian Belarus. Man is the work of God and therefore he should live. In case he commits a brutal crime, he is sure to be punished after death. Let alone the numerous mistakes of court. We will never forget the notorious Vitsebsk case. We are so often told that we are a civilized state, so we should be civilized and abolish capital punishment in Belarus.’ Read more…

Ales Bialiatski: ‘Registration or non-registration of Nasha Viasna will show the readiness of the authorities for changes pertaining to NGOs’

Ales Bialiatski: ‘Registration or non-registration of Nasha Viasna will show the readiness of the authorities for changes pertaining to NGOs’

Mr.Bialiatski’s interview concerning the registration of the Nasha Viasna human rights organization. Q: Mr.Bialiatski, Belarusian mass media have repeatedly mentioned that the Nasha Viasna human rights organization, founded by members of the liquidated Human Rights Center Viasna, has applied for registration to the Ministry of Justice. Read more…

Ex-leader of Belarus Hryb signs anti-death penalty petition

Ex-leader of Belarus Hryb signs anti-death penalty petition

The former head of the Supreme Soviet of Belarus (1994-1996) and member of the oppositional Social Democratic Hramada Party Mechyslau Hryb was the first politician to join the public campaign aimed at the abolition of capital punishment in the country. In 1985 Hryb was appointed head investigator in the case of serial murders in Vitsebsk and could witness the inefficiency of death penalty after 14 persons were illegally convicted of brutal murder, one of them being sentenced to extreme penalty and exexuted. Read more…

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