The death penalty in Europe and Central Asia in 2009

For the first year since Amnesty International started keeping records, no executions took place in Europe in 2009. Belarus, the only nation in Europe to carry out executions in recent years, did not execute any prisoners, although two death sentences were passed and two prisoners remain under threat of execution by shooting.

The moratorium on executions in Russia was extended by its Constitutional Court in November. The moratorium was put in place in 1999, suspending executions until jury trials were in place across Russia. This was completed on 1 January 2010. In November the Russian Constitutional Court ruled that: “The introduction of jury trials does not open the way for the possible use of the death penalty. The path towards full abolition of the death penalty is irreversible” read a Court statement.

Tajikistan is the only state in Central Asia retaining the death penalty for ordinary crimes - even though a moratorium on death sentences and executions had been introduced in 2004 and no executions have been carried out since then.

 

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Death sentences and executions 2009