Alyaksandar Lukashenka has signed the law “On Changing Criminal Liability Codes” which introduces capital punishment for officials and servicemen who commit high treason in Belarus, Telegram channel Pul 1, affiliated with Lukashenka, reports.
“The main purpose of the document is strengthening the counteractions in response to crimes of extremist (terrorist) and anti-state nature,” the message reads.
“High treason” committed by a governmental official or a serviceman could lead to them receiving the exceptional punishment — death penalty.
Aside from capital punishment for “high treason” committed by an official or a serviceman, criminal liability is being introduced for “terrorism propaganda”, “discreditation” of Armed Forces, and “violation of state secrets protection requirements”.
Furthermore, the period of detention for individuals suspected of having committed high treason, been involved in a coup or “other actions with the goal of seizing state power” is going to be increased from three days to ten.
Belarus is the only country in Europe and the Commonwealth of Independent States in which the death penalty is still allowed and practised. Currently, according to the Belarusian Criminal Code, the death penalty can be appointed as a punishment, in particular, for starting and conducting an aggressive war, international terrorism, genocide, using weapons of mass destruction, high treason connected to murder, and murder of a law enforcement employee.
Alyaksandar Lukashenka openly supports capital punishment, referring to it as a “restraining factor”. Due to the absence of a moratorium on capital punishment, Belarus is not a member of the Council of Europe, and its citizens are not able to file complaints with the European Court of Human Rights.