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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Executions Will Stay

MOSCOW -- Moscow will not abolish the death penalty ahead of the Council of Europe's February deadline, an official body said Thursday.

Anatoly Pristavkin, head of the Presidential Pardons Commission, said it was hard to persuade the public of the need to do away with capital punishment.

Vocal opposition in the parliament would slow any decision to enshrine a moratorium on the death sentence into law, he said at a news conference.

"Russia is a very conservative country and a very cruel country, and all this will not change very quickly," Pristavkin, who is also a writer and a human rights activist, said.