Man sentenced to death for murdering woman and her brother

The Homyel Regional Court on Friday sentenced a 32-year-old man to death for brutally murdering a woman and her brother.


The man, whose identity is not revealed, was arrested shortly after the bodies of his victims, a 59-year-old woman and her 61-year-old brother, were found in their house in Narowlya, Homyel region, on March 5, 2016.

The man partially admitted to the charges.

According to the convict, he came to the 61-year-old man’s house to borrow a pair of scissors to cut his father’s hair but the neighbor attacked him and he had to defend himself.

The man had previously been convicted of murder and theft. He committed the murder while he was under 18 years of age.

This is the first death sentence in Belarus this year.

The previous death sentence was passed last December, when a 39-year-old man was found guilty of strangling to death his son and daughter.

More than 400 people have been sentenced to death and executed in Belarus since the country acquired independence in 1991. Alyaksandr Lukashenka is known to have pardoned only one death row inmate.

The European Union and many international organizations have repeatedly called on the Belarusian government to abolish the death penalty or impose a moratorium on it.
Last month, the Belarusian leader claimed that he had no powers to impose a moratorium of the death penalty in the country.

“I have no right to abolish the death penalty or impose a moratorium on it,” Mr. Lukashenka said, speaking at a meeting titled, “A Big Conversation with the President.”
Some governments that once imposed a moratorium on the death penalty now want to lift it but do not know how to do this, Mr. Lukashenka claimed. According to him, Boris Yeltsin imposed a moratorium on the death penalty in Russia under pressure from the West and his entourage, and Vladimir Putin says now that it was a wrong decision, but he cannot reverse it.

“I often say to Europeans, ‘You should start with demanding the abolition of the death penalty in America and other countries where you take big money,’ but they do not want. These are double standards,” Mr. Lukashenka said.

He noted that he is not bloodthirsty and it is extremely painful for him to approve a death sentence. “I realize that the person will no longer live after that,” he said.