COUNCIL OF EUROPE: BELARUS URGED TO INTRODUCE A MORATORIUM ON EXECUTIONS
November 30, 2011: The Council of Europe urged Belarus not to execute two men found guilty of carrying out a subway terrorist attack in Minsk.
Secretary General Thornbjorn Jagland called on Minsk to discard the death penalty for Dmitry Konovalov and Vladislav Kovalyov and put a general moratorium on executions. He noted that Belarus is the only European country that practices capital punishment.
Konovalov and Kovalyov were sentenced to death by firing squad in connection with the April 11 blast inside a Minsk underground station. The explosion killed 15 people and wounded more than 200 others.
The date of the execution has not yet been set, but the Supreme Court's ruling is final and can not be appealed. Persons sentenced to death can only ask the president for a pardon.
Jagland said that the crime perpetrated by the two men was âbarbaricâ but that their punishment should not be the same. (Sources: Voice of America, 30/11/2011)