Last week co-executive director Parvais Jabbar participated in conference “Abolition of the Death Penalty and Public Opinion” in Minsk, Belarus.
The workshop, held on 13 December 2016, was organised by the Council of Europe in cooperation with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Belarus, with funding from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office’s Magna Carta fund.
The event came in the context of a series of recent executions by Belarus, the last country in Europe to retain the death penalty. Belarus has executed three prisoners since the beginning of November, bringing the total number of executions this year to four. No executions had taken place in 2015.
The conference brought together decision makers, civil society, academics and the media to discuss paths towards abolition in Belarus. Parvais Jabbar presented on the role of public opinion, which is often held to be a barrier to abolition. Sharing learning from our public opinion survey in Malaysia, Parvais highlighted the need for accurate data on attitudes towards capital punishment, and for the public to be informed about the reality of the death penalty and how it is applied.
Listen to a radio interview with Parvais broadcast on Radio Belarus(Belteleradiokompaniya), 13 December 2016.