EU condemns Belarusian regime decision to introduce death penalty for ‘attempted acts of terrorism’

EU condemns Belarusian regime decision to introduce death penalty for ‘attempted acts of terrorism’

May 2, 2022

The EU has condemned the decision of the Belarusian National Assembly to approve an amendment to the Criminal Code, introducing the death penalty for “attempted acts of terrorism”. 

According to a statement by the European External Action Service (EEAS), this “move goes in the opposite direction to the global trend of abandoning the death penalty”.

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.

The amendment of the penal code gives the possibility for further serious abuse. Many political prisoners (36) have been charged or already condemned to long prison terms under the Code’s “terrorism” provisions,” says the statement. “Many representatives of the democratic forces and political activists are wanted under “terrorism” charges. Many of the accused are tried in secret, unfair and biased trials, often under fabricated charges and with no legal safeguards. Now they also risk the death penalty.” 

The EEAS notes that the current political context in Belarus – supporting the Russian military aggression by providing its territory for the attack on Ukraine – makes this development even more worrying.

Meanwhile, the regime, says the EEAS, continues its brutal repression of its own population: “Human Rights Defenders, journalists and political activists face completely unjustified and very long prison sentences. Recently, trade unionists were also targeted,” the statement said, adding that the EU reiterates its demand for the immediate and unconditional release of all political prisoners.

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