European Union urges Belarus to ban death penaltyDecember 2nd, 2011 - 3:30 am ICT by IANS
Moscow, Dec 2 (IANS/RIA Novosti) The European Union has called on Belarus to join the rest of Europe in prohibiting capital punishment.
“The European Union opposes the use of capital punishment under all circumstances,” Maja Kocijancic, spokeswoman for EU foreign-policy chief Catherine Ashton, said Thursday.
“We believe that the death penalty is a cruel and inhuman punishment that does not allow any reversal, and it fails to provide a deterrence to any criminal behaviour and is an unacceptable denial of human dignity and integrity.”
Her remarks came a day after two Belarusian nationals were sentenced to death for carrying out a subway bomb attack in Minsk.
Dmitry Konovalov and Vladislav Kovalyov were found guilty of detonating an explosive device at a Minsk subway station April 11 that killed 15 and wounded over 200 people. On Wednesday, the Supreme Court of Belarus sentenced them to death by firing squad.
Council of Europe’s Secretary General Thornbjorn Jagland said Wednesday that the crime perpetrated by the two men was “barbaric” but urged the Belarusian authorities to refrain from employing a “barbaric” punishment.
The date of their execution has not yet been set.
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Tags: ashton, belarusian authorities, bomb attack, capital punishment, council of europe, criminal behaviour, death by firing squad, death penalty, deterrence, explosive device, foreign policy, human dignity, inhuman punishment, minsk, policy chief, ria novosti, secretary general, spokeswoman, subway station, vladislav