Titus Corlăţean (Romania, SOC), PACE’s General Rapporteur on the abolition of the death penalty, has strongly condemned the execution of Aliaksandr Zhylnikau in Belarus.
“I deeply regret this execution, which took place despite the appeals of many – including my predecessor as General Rapporteur – when his sentence was handed down. It is currently unclear whether Viachaslau Sukharka, sentenced at the same time as Mr Zhylnikau, has also been executed. If he has not, I call urgently on the authorities not to proceed with his execution,” he said. “Regardless of the gravity of the offence and the public interest in imposing a proportionate sanction, European democratic standards prohibit the use of the death penalty in all circumstances.”
“Belarus has once again shown that it does not fully subscribe to basic European standards, and its use of the death penalty continues to prevent the development of deeper relations with the Council of Europe. I reiterate my call on the Belarusian authorities to introduce a moratorium on the death penalty, as a matter of urgency, and as a first step towards its full abolition. It is the only way forward.”