Statement by Timo Soini, Chair of the Committee of Ministers, on death penalty in Belarus

Presidency of the Committee of Ministers Strasbourg 29 November 2018
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Timo Soini

Timo Soini

“I deeply regret the reported executions of Mr Syamyon Berazhny and Mr Ihar Hershankow in Belarus, which were carried out despite the strong call made by the Committee of Ministers in October 2018 to the authorities of Belarus to establish a formal moratorium on executions as a first step towards abolition of the death penalty," Mr Timo Soini, Chair of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe and Minister for Foreign Affairs of Finland, underlined in a statement today.

On the same occasion, the Committee of Ministers - representing 47 member States - encouraged the Belarusian authorities to apply the alternative punishment provided for in the Belarusian criminal legislation and to commute the death sentences which have been imposed. "The Council of Europe is firmly opposed to the death penalty in all circumstances and is resolutely committed to its abolition worldwide,” the Minister added.