Human rights: situation in Egypt and death penalty in Belarus and Japan

The use of death penalty in Belarus is condemned in another resolution highlighting the death sentences handed down to Dzmitry Kanavalau and Uladzislau Kavalyou by the Supreme Court on 30 November 2011. It urges Alyaksandr Lukashenka to pardon both men and to impose a moratorium on all death sentences and executions with a view to abolishing the death penalty from the penal system. The two men were sentenced for allegedly committing terrorist attacks in 2005, 2008 and 2011 in Vitebsk and Minsk, but according to reports by human rights organisations (FIDH, Human Rights Watch), there are arguments showing that the trial was unfair and that the investigation was marred by serious human rights abuses.The executions of the two may be carried out very soon.

Underlining that this "irreversible, cruel, inhumane and degrading punishment, which violates the right to life", is unacceptable, MEPs deplore the continuing failure of the Belarusian authorities to take any tangible steps towards abolishing the death penalty or imposing an immediate moratorium on it. They reiterate that the European Union and other international institutions have repeatedly urged the Belarusian authorities to abolish the death penalty.

Finally, they condemn the continuous persecution of human rights defenders and members of the democratic opposition and the harassment of civil society activists and the independent media in Belarus for political reasons and demand the unconditional immediate release of all political prisoners.

Belarus remains the only country in Europe that imposes the death penalty and still carries out executions.

News of Belarus

A brief review of the fifth day of the Ales Bialiatski hearing

November 16, 2011 in Minsk saw the fifth day of the hearing of Human Rights Center Viasna Head and Vice-president of FIDH Ales Bialiatski.

Today's hearing was devoted to the disclosure of a new version of the indictment.

A brief review of the fourth day of the trial of Ales Bialiatski

On November 10, 2011 in Minsk, the 4th day began of the trial of Ales Bialiatski, head of human rights center Viasna, vice-president of the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH). The International Observation Mission of the Committee on International Control over the Situation with Human Rights in Belarus  followed the progress of the process. Today's hearing was devoted to the interrogation of the accused.

European Union Statement on Belarus

10 November 2011

The European Union is gravely concerned about the arrest, detention and prosecution for alleged concealment of income of renowned Belarusian human rights defender Ales Byalyatski, founder and head of the Centre for Human Rights ‘Viasna’ and vice president of the International Federation for Human Rights.