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Belarus should immediately abolish the death penalty, MEPs say

Plenary Session Press release - Human rights / External relations29-03-2012 - 12:53

MEPs condemn the execution on 16 March of Uladzislau Kavalyou and Dzmitry Kanavalau, convicted of orchestrating the April 2011 Minsk metro bomb attack, and call on the Belarusian authorities to immediately impose a moratorium on the death penalty, in a resolution adopted on Thursday.

MEPs call on the Belarusian authorities immediately to release both men's bodies to their families for burial. Parliament considers the death penalty to be an "inhuman, ineffective and irreversible act of punishment"

In response to these executions and other human rights abuses in Belarus, the International Ice Hockey Federation should consider relocating the 2014 championship to another host country "until the regime shows commitment to human rights and the rule of law". Otherwise, there can be no progress in the EU-Belarus dialogue, says Parliament, say MEPs. 

Parliament welcomes the tougher sanctions imposed by the EU on Belarus in February and calls for "further restrictive measures, including targeted economic sanctions".

MEPs note that thousands of people took part in a Freedom Day peaceful demonstration in Minsk on 25 March this year and say this demonstrates the "readiness of people to defend their position as Belarusian citizens with courage and to express their European aspirations".

The resolution also condemns the offensive rhetoric of Aliaksandr Lukashenka towards the German foreign minister and point to the escalation of "an EU-Belarus diplomatic conflict of unprecedented scope".

Procedure:  non-legislative resolution

REF. : 20120328IPR42044