EU Statement on the amendments to the Belarusian Criminal Code

(Source: EEAS)

  1. The European Union is deeply concerned with the amendment to the Criminal Code, introducing the death penalty for “attempted acts of terrorism”, approved on 28 April by the Belarusian National Assembly and signed by Alexander Lukashenko on 18 May. This move goes in the opposite direction to the global trend of abandoning the death penalty, as well as against previous efforts made by Belarus. It is a matter of concern that this decision is taken as the public in Belarus demonstrates opposition to the regime’s support to Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine.
  2. This amendment opens the possibility for further serious abuse, since many political prisoners have already been charged or condemned to long prison terms under the Code’s “terrorism” provisions. Furthermore, 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.
  3. The EU reiterates its demand for the immediate and unconditional release of all political prisoners. The EU will continue its support to the Belarusian democratic forces and civil society and to a free, independent and prosperous Belarus.
  4. The EU again reaffirms its strong opposition to the use of the death penalty at all times and in all circumstances. The death penalty violates the inalienable right to life and is the ultimate cruel, inhuman and degrading punishment.

The following countries align with this statement: Albania, Andorra, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Liechtenstein, Republic of Moldova, Monaco, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Norway, San Marino, Serbia and Ukraine

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