Council of Europe changes tactics over death penalty in Belarus
The conference "Public Opinion and the Death Penalty in Belarus" was held at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Minsk / Euroradio
The Europeans agree with the Belarusian authorities that the public opinion on the death penalty does matter.
The Council of Europe admits that Alyaksandr Lukashenka will not abolish the death penalty if the society is against it. Therefore, the Europeans decided not to put pressure on the leadership of Belarus in the matter of abolition of the death penalty, but to change the minds of ordinary Belarusians. This was stated by the representative of the Directorate-General for Human Rights and Rule of Law of the Council of Europe, Tatiana Termačić on August 27 at the conference "Public Opinion and the Death Penalty in Belarus".
Euroradio asked whether progress is visible in relation to the death penalty from the side of the Belarusian authorities and whether it makes sense to hold such events. Termačić replied that everything depends solely on political will:
"The Belarusian authorities can cancel it in five minutes by signing a decree or passing a law. And the way of cancellation is not so important (moratorium or complete abolition). What is important is that we have understood where to go next. We decided to work with public opinion first of all because the Belarusian authorities listen to the opinion of the people. We want to show that the death penalty is an inhuman phenomenon, which should not be present in the XXI century".
During the welcoming speech, Tatiana Termačić noted that punitive policy should be separated from public opinion, while political leaders should discuss the abolition of the death penalty.