The House of Representatives of the National Assembly of Belarus in the second reading adopted a bill on the introduction of the death penalty under the article on treason against the state committed by an official or serviceman (Part 2 of Article 356 of the Criminal Code). This was reported by the press service of the lower house of parliament.
The period of detention of those suspected of treason, conspiracy, espionage, undercover activities, and the commission of an act of terrorism is increased to ten days. Increases – up to 20 days – the period during which the suspects under these articles must be charged.
The Criminal Code is also supplemented by Article 375-2 “Violation of requirements for the protection of state secrets”, which provides for criminal liability for the deliberate illegal movement of a carrier of state secrets with secrets of the Republic of Belarus or foreign states transferred to the Republic of Belarus outside its borders.
Earlier, the press service of the House of Representatives pointed out that the bill “On changing the codes on criminal liability” is needed for “a deterrent effect on destructive elements” and “demonstrating a resolute fight against treason to the state.”
The following people have already been convicted under the article “treason against the state” in Belarus:
- journalist Denis Ivashin (13 years in prison),
- media manager Andrey Alexandrov (14 years in prison),
- Belsat journalist Katerina Andreyeva (8 years and 3 months in prison),
- Captain of the General Staff of the Armed Forces Denis Urad (18 years in prison),
- “rail partisans” from Bobruisk Dmitry Klimov and Vladimir Avramtsev (22 years in prison),
- Svetlogorsk partisans Dmitry Ravich (22 years in a penal colony), Denis Dikun (23 years in a colony), Oleg Molchanov (21 years in a colony),
- ten defendants in the Rabochaga Rukh case (they received from 11 to 15 years in prison),
- resident of the Gomel region Evgeny Glushakov (9 years in prison),
- businessman and activist Nikolai Autukhovicha (25 years in prison),
Charges of treason against the state were brought against:
- cultural manager and founder of the Symbal.bu store Pavel Belous,
- leader of the democratic forces Svetlana Tikhanovskaya,
- former employee of the GUBOP and co-founder of the BYPOL Foundation Stanislav Luponosov.
In May 2022, Alexander Lukashenko signed amendments to the Criminal Code of Belarus, which introduced the death penalty for attempted acts of terrorism. Previously, the death penalty could not be imposed for preparation for a crime and attempted crime. The adoption of this law was associated with the phenomenon of “rail guerrillas” who carry out actions to block traffic on railway lines in order to complicate the movement of military convoys.
The Belarusian Helsinki Committee, the human rights center “Viasna” and the group “Human Rights Defenders Against the Death Penalty” issued a public appeal, declaring the inadmissibility of expanding the use of the death penalty.
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