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Belarus: Death penalty / fear of imminent execution

, Index number: EUR 49/005/1998

Fifty-five prisoners are currently on death row in Belarus, 13 have been convicted on charges of premeditated murder this year. The government cites the rising murder rate as the justifiaction for capital punishment. Only one person has been pardoned since president Lukashenka came to power in 1994. Information regarding the death penalty is classed as a state secret in Belarus, and executions are carried out in secret. It is unlikely that the names of those on death row or any information regarding their appeals will be made public. This could therefore be the only possibility for international opinion to influence the outcome in these cases.

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