Statement by the Spokesperson on a death sentence in Belarus (13/01/2016)

Brussels, 13/01/2016

A death sentence was handed down last week to Mr Henadz Yakavitski by the Minsk Regional Court of the Republic of Belarus.

Mr Henadz Yakavitski's legal right to appeal should be fully guaranteed.

Mr Yakavitski was convicted of a serious crime and we extend our deepest sympathy to the family and friends of the victim.

Nevertheless, the European Union is opposed to capital punishment in all cases and without exception. We urge Belarus, the only country in Europe still applying capital punishment, to join a global moratorium on the death penalty as a first step towards its abolition.

Commuting the sentences of persons sentenced to death and launching a public debate on the death penalty with Belarusian society would be an important move in this regard.