In 1997, Belarus 46 people were executed, death, and last year, only two offenders were put to death by the courts. This was announced by Justice Minister Viktor Golovanov in a report on the issue of retention or abolition of the death penalty in Belarus. Viktor Golovanov noted that the death penalty is considered by the Constitution as a temporary measure, but soon the minister does not expect its abolition, because "it depends on public opinion." Viktor Golovanov recalled that in 1996, 80.4% of voters were in favor of retaining the death penalty. In the opinion of Mr. Justice Minister, if public opinion is against the death penalty, and is then abandon it.
The Minister spoke about the participants of the campaign for the abolition of the death penalty, and responded to criticism of their leadership position in Belarus:
"I have an impression that it is now fashionable to be just an opponent of the death penalty, so advanced as a lawyer or a politician, which applies international terms Human Rights, and in fact one side interprets human rights exclusively in favor of the criminal. Those in favor of the abolition of the death penalty — the one Democrat who is against — the one retrograde. "
Crusader "for the abolition of the death penalty," the human rights activist Valentin Stefanovich recalled that when, in 1996, the year of the referendum raised the question of the death penalty, Penal Code there was no other alternative to this punishment, in addition to 15 years of imprisonment:
"Now is the enslavement and for a longer time in including and life. And a lot more people would have voted for the abolition of the death penalty if they were asked. "
According to human rights, since 1996 the Belarusian government has failed to take effective measures to public opinion on the death penalty changed to the side of his refusal. In this case, a human rights activist said that in Europe, where the death penalty is abolished completely, the public opinion is also not always been against the measure, but the government took "appropriate political decision" that matched the civilized choice of the peoples of Europe. Valentin Stefanovich said that one of the conditions for accession to the Council of Europe is the abolition of the death penalty, and this will necessarily have to be considered and Belarus.
According to human rights, the fight against the death penalty in the world is not "fashion company," as has been going on for decades and gradually gives the result: more and more countries reject the death penalty. The number of states in the U.S. that are banned in the territory this kind of punishment is also increasing.
Stefanovic"Death penalty — is the Middle Ages. If we want to live in the Middle Ages, let Mr. Golovanov live there, but without me. "