Discussion "What Do Belarusians Think: People's Attitudes Towards Capital Punishment"

Belarus Digest broadcasted a discussion entitled "What do Belarusians think: people's attitudes towards capital punishment" which will take place in Minsk on 10 December 2014 - Human Rights Day. This is one discussion in the "What do Belarusians think" series, organised by the Office for European Expertise and Communication in Minsk.

The discussion focused on the findings of the recently published opinion survey "Crime and Punishment: People's Perceptions, Assessments and Attitudes", conducted by the group of Satio companies along with the organisation Penal Reform International.

Yuliya Khlaschenkova (RHRPA Belarusian Helsinki Committee), Sergey Shimovolos (Penal Reform International, Russia), Nikolai Matrunchik (Interfaith Mission "Christian Service of the Society") participated in the discussion. Alyona Sheremet-Andreeva, editor of TUT.BY-TV, moderated.

The following topics discussed:

  • Has the number of the opponents of capital punishment grown in Belarus in the last year?
  • Why do over 15 per cent of Belarusians think that capital punishment has been long abolished in the country and has not been used for a long time?
  • How do religious beliefs affect one's attitude towards the death penalty, and what is the Church's standpoint?
  • In which region of Belarus do the most participants of the survey consider lifelong imprisonment an equal substitute for capital punishment?
  • What arguments do Belarusians think hold weight in determining the punishment, and what affects their standpoint?

Since September 2014 the series of live discussions "What do Belarusians think?" is organised by the Office for European Expertise and Communications in partnership with the Belarus Research Council and international non-profit organisation Pact with the support of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).

"We want to make expert debates public and create a space for the discussion of topical issues regarding the development of the Belarusian society", says Sviatlana Zinkevich, Director of the Office for European Expertise and Communications, commenting on the projects' objectives.

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