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Belarus, Uzbekistan Urged To Abolish Death Penalty

4 October 2004 -- The human rights organization Amnesty International today launched a campaign urging Uzbekistan and Belarus to end capital punishment.

Amnesty said in a statement that in both Belarus and Uzbekistan people are sentenced to death "in unfair trials often on the basis of 'confessions' extracted through torture and ill-treatment."

Amnesty also criticized what it called the "immense suffering" imposed on prisoners on death row, saying neither the prisoners nor their families are informed of the date of execution, and the place of burial remains a secret.

Neither Belarus nor Uzbekistan releases full statistics on their use of the death penalty. In both countries execution is by shooting.