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Belarus: Human Rights

Volume 496: debated on Wednesday 15 July 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs pursuant to the answer of 23 March 2009, Official Report, columns 20-21W, on Belarus: human rights, what reports he has received of the death sentence passed in Belarus on 29 June 2009; and if he will make a statement. (285359)

The EU raised this case with the Belarusian authorities on 8 July 2009. We are disappointed that the death penalty was imposed following earlier efforts by the Belarusian authorities to reduce its use. Belarus is the last country in Europe to use the death penalty; its abolition would be an important step in improving EU—Belarus relations. The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe passed a resolution on 23 June 2009 supporting the lifting of the suspension of Belarus’ special guest status after a moratorium on the execution of death penalties.