Today marks the World Day Against the Death Penalty, a punishment that gravely breaches human rights, in particular the right to life and the right to live free from torture or cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.
We would like to remind you that this inhuman sentence is still used in Belarus, which makes it the last country in Europe that continues using the death penalty towards its citizens. Death sentences are passed every year.
Information about the death sentences passed in Belarus is not publicly available, the number of those killed and their names are classified. The public knows of only a few dozen cases, while more than 300 people were sentenced to death in the country over the years of independence.
The latest death sentence was passed just in January 2021 upon 29-year-old Viktar Skrundzik for the murder of two people with extreme cruelty. According to a report by the government-controlled broadcaster STV, Skrundzik has already been executed.
With self-proclaimed president Lukashenko escalating political persecution to stay in power, the risks that capital punishment can be used for killing political opponents and mass repressions are higher than ever.
Look at our infographic for the key facts on the death penalty in Belarus and check out Viasna Human Rights Center’s campaign to abolish it.