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Belarus: Capital Punishment

Volume 506: debated on Monday 22 February 2010

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs pursuant to the answer of 26 November 2009, Official Report, columns 300-1W, on Belarus: capital punishment, what information he has received on the plight of Vasily Yuzepchuk and Andrei Zhuk; and what representations he has made on their behalf to the government of Belarus. (316928)

Vasily Yuzepchuk and Andrei Zhuk have exhausted the legal appeals process. The sentence can now only be overturned by an appeal of clemency to President Lukashenko.

The UK is opposed to the death penalty in all circumstances as a matter of principle. Together with EU partners, we promote the abolition of capital punishment around the world. We have continued to raise these cases with the Belarusian authorities, and to support a process of public dialogue on the death penalty. We worked closely with the Council of Europe who organised an information campaign in Belarus. Our ambassador explained our views in an interview with the Belarusian media in January 2010. We are pleased that the National Assembly of the Republic of Belarus has set up a task force to study the issue, and continue to urge the Belarusian Government to declare a moratorium on the use of the death penalty.