Belarus today is the only country in Europe where the death penalty exists. From 1990 to the present, more than 400 people have been sentenced and only one of them has been replaced by a sentence of imprisonment. At the referendum on November 24, 1996, 17.93% of voters expressed their opinion on the abolition of the death penalty, while 80.44% opposed them.
The President of the Republic of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko at the plenary session of the 26th annual session of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly in Minsk said that Belarus cannot go against the will of the people.
We are called to abolish the death penalty. We hear these offers, and not only hear. But no state can go against the will of the people, the overwhelming majority of whom voted for its preservation at the referendum. No any civilized European state.
We, as a young sovereign state, listened to your advice – took the issue to a referendum and got the result. Now, to give it up, it takes time. Therefore, please do not hurry us. We know what it is and what your requirements are. I am confident that we will gradually come to the solution of this problem.
The Belarusian section of the ISHR stands for the abolition of the death penalty, and on 27 February 2016 adopted a statement on the death penalty:
Attaching significant importance to the problem in question, guided by the UN documents on the death penalty, taking into account the position of the Council of Europe and the fact that the use of the capital punishment considerably complicates the relations of the Republic of Belarus with the Council of Europe, taking into account the position of human rights organizations, we call on the deputies of the House of Representatives of the National Assembly to pass a law on the abolition of the death penalty or, if it is not possible, to introduce a moratorium on its use.
Photo © by the Presidential Press Service of the Republic of Belarus
Executive secretary of the board
of the Belarusian section of the ISHR