Belarus, Historic Moment: The Supreme Court Cancels a Death Sentence

08.07.2020 - Belarus - Riccardo Noury

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Belarus, Historic Moment: The Supreme Court Cancels a Death Sentence

On June 30th the Supreme court of Belarus has upheld Viktar Skrundzig’s appeal by cancelling his death sentence issued three months earlier by the Slukts City Court and by arranging a review of his case and a retrial.

Skrundzig was found guilty for murdering two elderly persons, burned to death in their house whose fire had been set by two other accomplices, sentenced respectively to 22 and 18 years in prison.

During the Supreme Court’s appeal, Skrundzig claimed to be innocent about the double homicide and to have confessed under pressure of the police investigators and for fear of reprisals by one of the two co-defendants, known as a prominent member of the local crime.

Belarus is the only European country that enforces the death penalty. There is scant Information about it: according to the Justice Department, from 1994 to 2014, 245 people have been sentenced to death; while according to the local associations for human rights, executions are said to be about 400, since the country gained independence in 1991.

President Alyaksandr Lukashenka has granted clemency only to one death row inmate so far.

Categories: Europe, Human Rights
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