EU condemns Belarus execution
(BRUSSELS) - European Union chief diplomat Catherine Ashton Saturday condemned the execution of one of two men convicted of carrying out a bomb attack in the Minsk underground that left 15 dead and 160 wounded.
Ashton, who on Friday had appealed to Belarus authorities not to execute the men, "strongly condemns" the execution of Uladzislaw Kavalyow, a statement from her office said.
"The High Representative is aware of the terrible crimes that these two men were accused of and her thoughts are with the victims and their families.
"At the same time, the High Representative notes that the two accused were not accorded due process including the right to defend themselves," the statement said.
The European Union opposes the death penalty, it added.
In a separate release, the president of the European parliament, Martin Schulz, said he was "horrified" by the execution, and he called on Belarus authorities to spare the second condemned man, Dzmitry Kanavalaw.
The bombing in April 2011 struck the city's busiest metro station killing 15 people near the offices of strongman President Alexander Lukashenko, who on Wednesday refused to grant clemency.
The blast marked the worst attack in the republic's post-Soviet history and was immediately blamed by the authoritarian president on foreign and domestic enemies.
The attack coincided with a massive government crackdown on the opposition who took to the streets to protest against Lukashenko's re-election.
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