The Council of Europe organised a round table on capital punishment in Belarus as part of the World Congress Against the Death Penalty in Brussels on Thursday 28 February.
Belarus is the only country in Europe to still use the death penalty. Executions are usually carried out in secret and relatives may only be informed weeks or months later.
However, Belarus has made a number of positive statements on the death penalty in recent years and the number of executions in the country has fallen from 47 in 1998 to 4 in 2018.
The round table focused on historical aspects of capital punishment in Belarus, the current situation and future strategies to move towards abolition.
Participants included Anaïs Marin, the UN Special Rapporteur on human rights in Belarus, and representatives of the Belarusian authorities.
Through the European Convention on Human Rights, the Council of Europe has created a death-penalty free zone covering more than 830 million people across 47 countries.