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Today, we have learnt of yet another execution that has taken place in Belarus, that of Henadz Yakavitski. Earlier this week, the executions of two others, Ivan Kulesh and Sergei Khmelevsky, were confirmed, adding to that of Syarhey Iwanov in April.
The upsurge in executions in 2016 is against the commitment, made by Belarusian authorities within the framework of the United Nations, to consider the introduction of a moratorium on the use of the death penalty.
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.
Steps taken by Belarus to respect universal fundamental freedoms, rule of law and human rights, including on the death penalty, will remain key for the shaping of the EU's future policy towards Belarus.