COUNCIL OF EUROPE CONDEMNS BELARUS OVER EXECUTIONS
February 6, 2008: the Council of Europe, the continent's main rights watchdog, condemned Belarus authorities for their "blatant disregard" for human rights in executing three prisoners this week. Secretary General Terry Davis said he was "saddened" by Minsk authorities' "stubborn determination" to isolate their country from the rest of Europe.
"With the three executions carried out, they continue to flaunt their blatant disregard for the human values and achievements common to all other European countries," he said in a statement.
Belarus is the only European country that is not a member of the Council of Europe, whose 47 member states have all banned the death penalty or imposed a moratorium on executions.
But it is a member of the United Nations, and Davis said Tuesday's executions of Sergei Morozov, Valery Gorbatoi and Igor Danchenko "go against the letter and the spirit of the recent resolution of the UN General Assembly, which called for a worldwide moratorium" on such actions. (Sources: Agence France Presse, 06/02/2008)