Belarus mulls making attempted terrorist acts punishable by death

Belarus mulls making attempted terrorist acts punishable by death

The proposal to make attempted acts of terrorism punishable by death is proposed by lawmakers.

Belarus has responded to efforts by anti-war activists to sabotage the nation's railway network by taking measures to make attempted terrorist attacks punishable by execution.

The lower house of parliament of the former Soviet republic approved plans on Wednesday to expand the use of the death penalty, according to state-run media outlet Belta. The Belarus criminal code will be revised if the upper house votes in favor of the plan and President Alexander Lukashenko signs it into law.

The sentences of capital punishment in Belarus are limited to cases involving particularly grave crimes, such as terrorist acts that cause death, killing of police officers, or multiple murders. The proposed revision would give prosecutors the power to seek the death penalty in cases where a suspect tries unsuccessfully to commit a terrorist act.

House chairman Vladimir Andreychenko said such crimes were one of the most serious threats to the security and stability of the society. He added that destructive forces continue their terrorist, extremist activities aimed at killing people, trying to shake up the situation in Belarus, provoking domestic instability and conflicts.

Andreychenko alluded to attempts by saboteurs to disrupt rail operations by damaging signaling instruments and other equipment. The Washington Post recently credited such tactics as helping to thwart Russia's military offensive against Ukraine. Russian forces have used the Belarusian railway network to transport troops and equipment to Ukraine.

Andreychenko said that actions are being taken to disable railway equipment and railway tracks, objects of strategic importance. There is no justification for the actions of terrorists. At least four people have been arrested in Minsk for trying to disable rail operations in recent weeks. Several of the suspects were shot and wounded during their capture, allegedly while attempting to resist arrest.