Statement by the Spokesperson on the confirmation of a death sentence in Belarus (12/04/2016)

Brussels, 12/04/2016                                

The Supreme Court of Belarus has confirmed the death sentence against Mr Henadz Yakavitski, which had already been handed down by the Minsk Regional Court in January 2016.

The European Union condemns the use of the capital punishment in all cases. It fails to act as a deterrent and is a cruel punishment, representing an unacceptable denial of human dignity and integrity.

The European Union urges Belarus, the only country in Europe which still applies capital punishment, to respect the right to life for each of its citizens and to join a global moratorium on the death penalty as a first step towards its full abolition. The European Union encourages Belarus to continue its constructive engagement with Belarusian society on this matter, including through public debates such as the recent international conference on the death penalty, hosted in Minsk on 10 March.