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On 30 July, the Vitebsk Regional Court in Belarus reportedly sentenced to death Viktar Paulau after finding him guilty of double murder. The European Union expresses its sincere sympathy to the families and friends of the victims.
Belarus is the only Country in all Europe that still executes people. The death penalty does not serve as a deterrent to crime, and any errors become irreversible. It is a cruel, inhuman and degrading punishment and a violation of the right to life enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
Commuting the remaining death sentences and introducing a moratorium on the death penalty would be a positive first step towards its abolition.
Tangible steps taken by Belarus to respect universal human rights, including on the death penalty, remain key for shaping the EU's future policy towards Belarus.