Aleksandr Lukashenko passes law to amend Criminal Code

    Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko has passed the Law on Introducing Amendments to the Criminal Code.

    The new law seeks to improve the criminal legislation taking into consideration implementation practices. It also aims to ensure adequate punishment for certain crimes. Thus, the law reduces mandatory minimum sentencing for illegal drug trade (Article 328 of the Criminal Code). The sentencing range envisaged by Part 2 of Article 328 will span from 3 to 8 years, while drug offenders violating Part 3 of the same article will be sentenced to 6-15 years in prison. Before the law was passed, the sentencing periods were 5-8 years and 8-15 years respectively.

    The amendments to the Criminal Code will allow judges to be more flexible while imposing a sentence in each different case taking into account all circumstances of a crime.

    Apart from that, with a view to combating certain public security threats, the law imposes criminal responsibility for  deliberate acts to justify Nazism alongside with fomenting racial or social hatred.

    The law introduces criminal responsibility for forcing athletes to take doping and for using illegal substances or methods on  athletes without their knowledge.