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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Council of Europe urges Belarus to revise death penalty for bomb attackers

RIA Novosti

20:43 30/11/2011 MOSCOW, November 30 (RIA Novosti) - Council of Europe’s Secretary General Thornbjorn Jagland called on Belarus on Wednesday to discard the death penalty for two Belarusians found guilty of carrying out a subway terrorist attack in Minsk.

Dmitry Konovalov and Vladislav Kovalyov were found guilty of detonating an explosive device at a Minsk subway station on April 11 that killed 15 and wounded over 200 people. On Wednesday, the Supreme Court of Belarus sentenced them to death by firing squad.

Jagland said that the crime perpetrated by the two men was “barbaric” but asked the Belarusian authorities to refrain from employing a “barbaric” punishment.

He reiterated that Belarus is the only European country that practices the death penalty and urged the country’s authorities to immediately introduce a moratorium on capital punishment.

The date of their execution has not yet been set.

The Supreme Court’s ruling is final and may not be appealed. Persons sentenced to death may only appeal to the president for a pardon.

Throughout his presidency Alexander Lukashenko has only once granted a pardon, commuting the death penalty to a 20-year prison sentence in 1996.



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