Japan | Trial ruling date for man accused of 1966 murder set for September

Iwao Hakamada, who in a rare example is being retried over a 1966 murder case, will be given a verdict on Sept. 26, the Shizuoka District Court said Wednesday, which could see him finally acquitted more than five decades after he was sentenced to death by the same court. In the last trial session, prosecutors again sought the death penalty for the 88-year-old, saying there is enough evidence to show that Hakamata is the perpetrator, while defense lawyers argued that he is not guilty.

Lukashenko: Decision on capital punishment should be made by people

Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko
Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko spoke about the topic of death penalty at the meeting with representatives of the Russian media on 14 December, BelTA has learned. 

According to Alexander Lukashenko, he is keeping an eye on the situation in western countries where they say that the death penalty issue should not be put to a referendum. 

However, in a conversation with the Belarusian leader representatives of the West acknowledge that 2/3 of the population would have supported the application of death penalty in certain cases.

"They are used to saying that it is not up to people to decide. But I believe it is,” the president stressed. He reminded that there was a referendum in Belarus, and the majority of people voted against the abolition of death penalty. 

“There was a referendum in Belarus. I cannot abolish death penalty,” Alexander Lukashenko added. 

In his opinion, people in Russia, where a moratorium on death penalty is implemented, would have also been against the abolition of this form of punishment.

The head of state said that the most difficult documents he has to sign are those concerning capital punishment. 

Before making a decision, the president studies criminal case files. 

Alexander Lukashenko tells his western partners about some of them when they start a conversation about the abolition of capital punishment. He asks them if they want something like that to happen to their close ones.

Read full text at: https://eng.belta.by/president/view/lukashenko-decision-on-capital-punishment-should-be-made-by-people-117359-2018/

Source: eng.belta.by, December 15, 2018

Urgent Action


There is grave concern that the only two known prisoners on death row in Belarus, Aliaksandr Zhylnikau and Viachaslau Sukharko, are at risk of imminent execution.

Write a letter, send an email, call, fax or tweet:

* Urging the Belarusian authorities to halt the executions of Aliaksandr Zhylnikau and Viachaslau Sukharko;

* To Immediately establish an official moratorium on executions with a view to abolishing the death penalty;

* To commute all death sentences to terms of imprisonment.

Friendly reminder: If you send an email, please create your own instead of forwarding this one!

Contact these 2 officials by 25 January, 2019

Chair of the Parliamentary Working Group on the Death Penalty
Andrei Naumovich
Ul. Sovetsakaya d.8
231291 Lida Belarus
Email: naumovich@house.gov.by
Salutation: Dear Mr Naumovich

Chargé d´Affaires Mr. Pavel Shidlovsky, Embassy of Belarus
1619 New Hampshire Ave NW
Washington DC 20009
Phone: 1 202 986 1606 I Fax: 1 202 986 1805
Email: us@mfa.gov.by
Salutation: Dear Ambassador

Source: Amnesty International, December 15, 2018

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"One is absolutely sickened, not by the crimes that the wicked have committed,
but by the punishments that the good have inflicted." -- Oscar Wilde

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