Statement by the Spokesperson of High Representative Catherine Ashton on the death penalty sentences of Dzmitry Kanavalaw and Uladzislaw Kavalyow in Belarus

Brussels, 16 March 2012.The spokesperson of Catherine Ashton, High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice President of the Commission, issued the following statement today:

"The High Representative is very concerned about the announcement on Belarusian television of the decision not to pardon Dzmitry Kanavalaw and Uladzislaw Kavalyow, who were convicted on 30 November 2011 to the death penalty by the Supreme Court of Belarus.

The High Representative again urges the authorities of Belarus not to carry out the executions of Dzmitry Kanavalaw and Uladzislaw Kavalyow. The European Union opposes the use of capital punishment under all circumstances. Therefore the High Representative calls on Belarus, the only country in Europe still applying it, to join a global moratorium on the execution of death penalty as a first step towards its universal abolition.”

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