On 10 January 2020, the Mahilyow Regional Court in Belarus pronounced two death sentences for brothers Ilya and Stanislav Kostev.
These two further death sentences come on top of the three death sentences passed in 2019. Three death sentences were carried out last year and a total of four individuals are now on "death row".
Recalling the 2016 Council Conclusions which condemned the application of death penalty in Belarus, the European Union reaffirms its strong opposition against the application of capital punishment in any circumstance.
The death penalty violates the inalienable right to life enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and is the ultimate cruel, inhuman and degrading punishment. Capital punishment also fails to act as a deterrent to crime. Miscarriages of justice are irreversible.
Introducing a moratorium on executions in Belarus would be a positive first step towards the abolition of the death penalty.