Statement by the Spokesperson on the decision of the Belarus Supreme Court to uphold the death sentence against Siarhei Vostrykau (05/10/2016)

Bruxelles, 04/10/2016 - 17:50 - UNIQUE ID: 161004_11

Today, 4 October, the Belarusian Supreme Court upheld the death sentence against Siarhei Vostrykau. This is the fourth confirmation by the Belarusian Supreme Court of a death sentence in 2016. It follows the execution of Syarhey Iwanow in April as well as two other death sentences this year.The European Union reaffirms its strong opposition to capital punishment. The death penalty is an inhumane and degrading treatment, does not have any proven deterrent effect, and makes judicial errors irreversible. The continued application of capital punishment runs counter to Belarus' stated willingness to consider the introduction of a moratorium on the use of the death penalty. This is also a commitment made by Belarus in response to recommendations made by the UN Human Rights Council in the Universal Periodic Review.

Belarus, the only country in Europe still applying capital punishment, should introduce a moratorium on the death penalty as a first step towards its abolition.