Updated at 23:19,25-10-2016

Vasilevich defends capital punishment in Belarus

21-08-2009, 14:35

The Prosecutor General thinks the grave crimes should be punished by the death penalty.

"Two people have been sentenced to capital punishment in Belarus in 2009. This measure is severe but fair," Ryhor Vasilevich told journalists in Minsk.

Explaining the reasonableness of the verdicts, the Prosecutor General said that one of them was passed to the murder of 7 elderly women in the Drahichyn district, the other being the case of double murder of officers of an agricultural enterprise with intent to rob, Interfax reports.

As www.charter97.org has already reported, the Council of Europe adopted a resolution on June 23. According to the resolution, the Belarusian parliament will restore its special guest status in the PACE only after the capital punishment is abolished.

The Belarusian MPs said in response there had been no death sentences in Belarus for a year. Many officials noted a referendum would be needed to abolish the capital punishment.

Representatives of international institutions such as Amnesty International have repeatedly stated that no referendum is needed to abolish the death penalty.

Maud de Boer-Buquicchio, deputy Secretary General of the Council of Europe, told in an interview to BelaPAN that "abolition of capital punishment is not an issue for a referendum, but a display of political will by the authorities".