Statement by the Spokesperson on the execution of Syarhey Iwanow and of the confirmation of the death sentence against Sergei Khmelevsky (07/05/2016)

Brussels, 07/05/2016                                

Despite the many calls made by the European Union, another execution has been carried out in Belarus. The case of Syarhey Iwanow, who had been sentenced to death by the Supreme Court of Belarus in March 2015, is particularly disturbing in light of the fact that his complaint was pending with the UN Human Rights Committee.
The death sentence against Sergei Khmelevsky, which was upheld by the Belarus Supreme Court on 6 May, has also been confirmed.
The European Union opposes capital punishment, which fails to act as a deterrent to crime and represents an unacceptable denial of human dignity and integrity. Over the last decades, numerous countries have realised that the death penalty cannot be justified under any circumstances and have stopped applying it.
We expect 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.