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Two new executions in Belarus, those of Syamyon Berazhny and Ihar Hershankow, have reportedly taken place in secret this month. Altogether four executions have been carried out this year. Two more people remain on death row in Belarus.
The European Union reaffirms its strong and unequivocal opposition to capital punishment in all circumstances. The death penalty violates the inalienable right to life enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and is a cruel, inhuman and degrading punishment.
The application of the death penalty runs counter to Belarus' stated willingness to engage on the matter with the international community, including the European Union. The introduction by the Belarusian authorities of a moratorium on the use of the death penalty as a first step towards its abolition would be a positive development. Tangible steps taken by Belarus to respect universal human rights, including on the death penalty, will remain key for shaping the EU's future policy towards Belarus.