At a court hearing held today in the city of Sluck, the Minsk Regional Court handed down a death verdict to Viktar Skrundzik on charges of killing two elderly persons and attempting to murder an 85-year-old woman in January 2019. Three other defendants in the trial were sentenced to various terms of imprisonment.
Today on the World and European Day Against the Death Penalty, the European Union and the Council of Europe reaffirm their opposition to the use of capital punishment in all circumstances and call for the universal abolition of the death penalty. We welcome the continued decline in the use of the death penalty, confirming the overall trend towards universal abolition.
The International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) has written to the Belarusian authorities urging them to allow Valiantsin Stefanovich, Viasna human rights defender and FIDH vice-president, to attend the hearing of the petition for pardon filed with the presidential commission in the case of the death row prisoners Kostseu brothers.